Data overnight from Cairns Airport shows total passenger numbers in March rebounded sharply after the weakness of the February data (as expected).
The start of the Government’s discounted half-price tickets, and the Easter holidays, should see a sharp improvement again in the April data.
While the 3-month average fell slightly in March (due to the seasonally weak Feb numbers) we have at least seen the bottom in terms of total annual declines. In February the 12-month total was down 71.2% from a year earlier; that decline has improved this month to ‘just’ 70.7% and will improve quickly from here as we run through the COVID-related base effect in the 2020 data.
While things have obviously improved significantly in recent months we cannot lose sight of the fact that, in the best months, Cairns Airport was seeing total passenger numbers around half-a-million; at the moment that is still only closer to 200,000.
However, while international passengers have essentially disappeared from the data, domestic passenger numbers were up 2.5% from March last year (although on a 12-month basis are still down 66%)