Melbourne Airport has handled almost 39,000 travellers during October, indicating a decrease of 98.8% compared to the same time in 2019.

Out of 38,822 passengers, around 28,059 were domestic passengers while the rest were international travellers.

With Victoria overcoming its second wave of Covid-19 infections, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has scheduled a reopening of the NSW-VIC border for 23 November.

Subsequently, Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein announced a reopening date for 27 November, whereas South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced one for 1 December.

On the same date as New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory will also relax its border restrictions.

Optimistic about a domestic re-start, Melbourne Airport CEO Lyell Strambi said: “It’s really positive that states are starting to reopen to Victoria, giving people the opportunity to reconnect with their loved ones well before Christmas. We know people are itching to travel and it’s terrific to see airlines add capacity as soon as border restrictions are eased, which also supports thousands of aviation-related jobs.

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“Things are finally moving in the right direction and with Australian case numbers as low as they are border restrictions are no longer necessary. The reality is we will be living with Covid-19 until a vaccine is developed, there will always be cases that arise but we need to learn to live with outbreaks while staying open safely.”

For the financial year 2019-20, the airport handled as many as 12,807,809 passengers. However, in the financial year 2020/21, the number stands at 190,768.