More than 68,000 international seats are available into Brisbane per week, and 125 weekly services run to Asia and the Middle East. Skytrax voted Brisbane Airport the third best airport in the world serving 20-30 million passengers, and expansion plans are in place for the airport. A new parallel runway will see Brisbane Airport handle double their current capacity when it opens in 2020, making it the biggest aviation project in Australia.
Within the last 12 months, Brisbane has announced exciting new routes, particularly within the Asian region. In August 2015, Australian flag carrier Qantas increased capacity on their service from Brisbane to Tokyo, Japan. The service was increased from four times weekly to daily, served with an Airbus A330.
The long awaited China Eastern services between Shanghai and Brisbane will launch in the second half of 2016, which will further increase the ever expanding numbers of Chinese visitors. In 2015, Chinese passengers arriving in Brisbane increased by a staggering 27.5 percent, whereas the overall increase of international passengers saw a 4.7 percent increase. A record number of Chinese visitors were welcomed at Brisbane in February, coinciding with Chinese New Year. China is Brisbane’s largest international growth market for 2015.
More than 700,000 seats a year will be offered between Singapore and Brisbane, as a fourth direct service operating three days a week will be in operation from May 2016. This additional service will meet the demands of not only direct Singaporean traffic, but connecting traffic from Europe as 52 percent of Singapore Airlines’ passengers travelling to and from Brisbane Airport are international visitors.
As part of their summer schedule, Qantas added a service between Christchurch, New Zealand and Brisbane in 2015, giving travellers a choice of an extra 48 return services. The 12 week programme offered four flights per week, bringing more than 16,000 extra seats between the two cities. This was a 12 percent increase in capacity for the route.
On an international scale, Air Canada announced a direct service between Vancouver and Brisbane, commencing in June 2016. The service was initially slated to run three days a week, but was upgauged to a daily schedule as Canadian travellers are at an all-time high to Queensland. The route will be served by Boeing 767.
As well as increased capacity and new routes, unserved routes have also been identified for Brisbane Airport - unsurprisingly, their biggest markets fall within Asia. The Route Shop believes the largest unserved route from Brisbane is to Beijing, with the origin and destination (O&D) market growing at an average rate of four percent in the last four years. Chengdu, China; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Manila, Phillipines have been identified as some of the biggest routes that are not being served from Brisbane.