Australia's Queensland Airports MD Dennis Chant, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, described (09-Aug-2013) Gold Coast Airport as seeing an increase in one stop travel from Asia to the Gold Coast. He noted that a lot of passengers are travelling from China through low-cost hubs in Asia.
Gold Coast Airport benefits from traffic from low-cost hubs in Asia
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Australia’s Gold Coast Airport: AirAsia X and Hong Kong Airlines drive rapid international growth
Australia’s Gold Coast Airport is enjoying rapid traffic growth, driven by new and expanded international services. The airport recently started construction on a new terminal which will provide an enhanced level and service, and more widebody parking spots, to support anticipated further international growth.
Gold Coast traffic was up 8% to 6.3 million passengers in the year ending 30-Jun-2016, with international traffic up 18% to 1.05 million. Gold Coast had the fastest international growth in FY2016 among Australia’s six main international airports.
AirAsia X and Hong Kong Airlines have accounted for most of the recent growth. AirAsia X has added capacity on Kuala Lumpur-Gold Coast while launching Gold Coast-Auckland. Hong Kong Airlines launched services to Gold Coast in early 2016 and is already planning to increase capacity.
China and Australia remove airline growth restrictions as China cautiously embraces open skies
China has agreed to liberalise passenger flights and remove capacity restrictions with Australia, its largest outbound long haul market after the United States. This is a relief to Chinese airlines, which face bilateral constraints in North America and Europe. The result is already evident as Chinese airlines deploy more capacity and larger aircraft to Australia.
In North American and European markets the local governments hold back on traffic right expansion (let alone open skies). But for Australia it was the Australian government, which signalled some years ago that it wanted to liberalise once China was ready – a time that has now come.
Australia's view was progressive and detached from bygone days of national carrier interest; Chinese airlines hold 90% of the market to Australia. Elsewhere many governments still hold back on Chinese traffic right expansion so their local airlines can continue to grow. There are 15 Chinese airports that have nonstop flights to Australia with a total of 27 airport pairs – figures that should expand in 2017 as the market evolves further with the Virgin Australia-HNA partnership.