Brisbane Airport has seen the biggest jump in total profits over the past year compared with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, with fee hikes and international passengers contributing much to a huge profit spike.
A 24.8 per cent increase in profits was the highest among the four major airports according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s latest airport monitoring report for 2017-18, as international trade drove business.
Aeronautical revenue for the airport jumped to $350.7 million, an 18.4 per cent increase on the year before. The ACCC said this was due to the increase in charges for international airlines and Brisbane’s increasing popularity as an international airport.
Brisbane Airport’s passenger traffic also increased 2.6 per cent to 23.7 million passengers, of which 6.1 million were international visitors.
That increase in passengers also saw a rise in aeronautical revenue per passenger of 15.4 per cent to $14.82 per passenger, the largest increase across the four airports.
The ACCC again attributed much of this massive jump, compared with a 1.1 per cent rise the year before, to Brisbane’s increase in international visitors.
Brisbane Airport Corporation chairman Gert-Jan de Graaff said the airport had welcomed seven new airlines to the city over the past two years: Air China, Hainan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Philippine Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines and Thai AirAsia X.
“This could not have been achieved without the significant expansion of the international terminal and investment in systems, facilities and technology that help to manage increased demand and improve airline efficiency and the passenger experience overall,” he said.
The airport also increased its runway charges for airlines across the year, with the domestic passenger runway charge increasing by 27.3 per cent and the international passenger runway charge increasing by 31.2 per cent.
However, government mandated security charges dropped between 1 and 3 per cent.
“Overall the growth in aeronautical profits at Australia’s four biggest airports continues apace,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“This growth has led to some of the airports more than doubling their profits over the past decade, even after accounting for inflation.”
The Transport Workers Union said the reported rise in airport profits meant airports needed to be held accountable to workers on low-paying jobs.
“There is an urgent need for accountability when profits and working conditions are skewed to this extent,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
While airline fees helped boost Brisbane’s profits, parking fees decreased. The ACCC attributed this to the competitive pressure placed on airports by rideshare and other parking and transport options.
But equally, the airports saw a revenue boost from charging taxis, ride-share operators and busses for “landside access services”.
Mr de Graaff said how people travelled to and from airports was changing quickly and the airport had considered the challenges in future development.
“Demand for parking facilities, both at the terminals and at distance car parks with free shuttle services, is also increasing in line with passenger growth, so we continue to invest in this area to meet demand, including commencing planning for the construction of a new multi-level car part at our International Terminal,” he said.
Passengers rated Brisbane’s quality of service as “good”.
“It is pleasing to see that all four airports have been rated as ‘good’ in terms of overall quality of service, but there is considerable scope for further improvement, in the service provided to airlines in particular,” Mr Sims said.
In January, Brisbane Airport Corporation’s chief executive officer Gert-Jan de Graaff said the airport’s focus was on expanding its international offerings, with a new runway planned to open in about 18 months.
Mr de Graaff said Brisbane city’s rising reputation as an international destination was contributing to the sharp spike in visitors to south-east Queensland.
Source: Brisbane Times