Ahead of this year's Routes Asia forum, Routesonline is providing a snapshot on the leading airlines and airports and most used aircraft types across the region. Here we look closely at the airports serving the Southwest Pacific and highlight the region's top performers.
The data is all supplied by OAG Aviation using its OAG Schedules Analyser tool.
Scheduled Air Capacity From the Southwest Pacific (2005 - 2014)
Our analysis of published schedules for the past ten years shows that air capacity within and from the Southwest Pacific has risen from 98,709,633 available seats in 2005 to 134,035,065 available seats in 2014. This represents a growth of 35.8 per cent across the period, an average annual increase of 4.0 per cent. In the past year capacity increased 1.5 per cent.
Top Ten Airports in the Southwest Pacific Market (2014)
Australian airports dominate air travel within and from the Southwest Pacific holding seven of the top ten positions. Sydney's Kingsford Smith International Airport leads the way with a 19.0 per cent share of available capacity within and from the region in 2014, despite a small 0.5 per cent decline in network capacity versus 2013.
Melbourne International Airport is the second largest facility in the region with an 15.3 per cent capacity share, while Brisbane Airport was third with a 11.2 per cent share. New Zealand's Auckland Airport was the largest airport outside of Australia with a 7.2 per cent capacity share, up 0.2 percentage points on 2013 following a 4.0 per cent growth last year. New Zealand's Christchurch International Airport and Wellington International Airport complete the list of non-Australian airports in the top ten.
Fastest Growing Airports in the Southwest Pacific Market (2010-2014)
Looking at capacity data in the region across a five year period, it is Jacksons International Airport, the principal international gateway to Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, that has grown by the biggest margin with capacity up 48.5 per cent from 2010. Notable growth during this timescale was also recorded by Queenstown Airport in New Zealand (up 47.9 per cent) and Perth International Airport (up 40.3 per cent).
Data comparison between 2013 and 2014 shows that Jacksons International Airport, which serves Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea, has seen the largest year-on-year growth among the top 20 airports in this region with capacity rising 10.1 per cent over the 12 month period.
It was the only airport in the region to report double-digit capacity growth, although Queenstown Airport in New Zealand did report a notable 9.4 per cent rise and Darwin International Airport in Australia had a 7.5 per cent capacity growth between 2013 and 2014.
Other airports reporting capacity growth between 2013 and 2014 included Perth International Airport (up 5.1 per cent), Auckland Airport (up 4.0 per cent), Christchurch International Airport (up 4.0 per cent), Melbourne International Airport (up 3.1 per cent), Adelaide Airport (up 2.7 per cent), Brisbane Airport (up 1.4 per cent) and Hobart International Airport (up 1.0 per cent)
The schedules highlight that the remaining ten of the top 20 airports in the Southwest Pacific reported capacity declines between 2013 and 2014, although just four of these are in the top ten. The largest capacity declines were recorded by Antonio B Won Pat International Airport in Guam (down 8.9 per cent), Newcastle Airport (down 6.8 per cent) and Canberra International Airport (down 6.7 per cent).
Scheduled Southwest Pacific Capacity by Aircraft Type
The chart below shows which aircraft types were most prevalent in the Southwest Pacific market during 2014. The schedule data shows the Boeing 737-800 (winglets) (73H) is the most widely used aircraft type in this market with a 26.2 per cent share of available seats with overall network capacity up 2.1 per cent between 2013 and 2014 from 19.68 million seats to 35.18 million seats.
The second most utilised aircraft type in this market is the Airbus A320 (320) with a 20.7 per cent share, while third most widely operated type by network capacity is the widebody Airbus A330-200 (332) with a 5.3 per cent share.
The biggest rise in annual capacity among the top ten aircraft types were recorded by the Boeing 717 (717) with a 39.4 per cent rise in available domestic seats in 2014 versus 2013. The largest decline in annual capacity was recorded by the Boeing 767-300ER (763) with a fall of 28.3 per cent versus 2013, albeit it remains the seventh most used aircraft type in the region.