Surging international visitor numbers will more than compensate for WA’s sluggish economy and drive passenger growth at Perth Airport, the company that runs the operation says.
Perth Airport has released its latest seven-year spending plan under which it wants to invest more than $1 billion in capital upgrades and expansions, saying that it would have no “material” effect on airline ticket prices.
The plan will set the prices Perth Airport can charge airline customers including Qantas and Virgin, who would then pass on those costs to passengers.
Central to the proposal is assumed growth in international visitors of almost 30 per cent from 4.25 million last financial year to 5.5 million by 2023.
International passenger numbers will grow 56 per cent to 6.6 million by 2028.
The bullish figures are expected to more than offset sluggish growth in the domestic market as WA’s economy suffers from a post-resources boom hangover.
According to the airport, interstate passenger numbers are forecast to increase 17 per cent by 2023, while the intrastate sector — which is highly dependent on the fly-in, fly-out market — will decline.
People flying internationally accounted for 31 per cent of the 13.8 million passenger movements through the facility last year, but this share was expected to climb in coming years.
Reasons for the expected surge were the falling Australian dollar, making international travel to Australia cheaper, growing incomes in key Asian markets led by China and a recovery in the economies of Europe and the US.
Perth Airport wants to consolidate and expand international and domestic services at Terminal 1 and has plans to build two multistorey carparks on either side of the planned railway station.