Price of air-travel to plummet as passenger numbers grow: Australian expert

Updated 2017-07-02 14:18:29 Xinhua

The cost of air travel will continue to plummet as passenger numbers grow, an Australian expert has forecast on Sunday.

Lyell Strambi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Melbourne Airport, said airport investment in infrastructure such as automated terminals was pushing down the cost for airlines.

"If you look at air travel pricing over the long run we'll see the prices continually come down, and airports are part of that story," Strambi told Australian media on the 20th anniversary of the privatization of the Melbourne Airport.

"For us to be successful, we need airlines to be successful," he said.

"For airlines to be successful they need to be driving cheaper and cheaper fares for their customers for the given level of quality they want to achieve.

"The traveler yields the benefit for that with lower fares."

The number of annual passengers using the Melbourne Airport has more than doubled from 14 million in 1997 to 35 million in 2017, a trend that Strambi expects to continue.

He said the airport was in the early stages of planning a fifth terminal to combat the rapid growth.

"If you think about the demand for the airport growing or doubling over the next 20 years, then clearly more terminal facilities are going to be required," he said.

Strambi said the group managing the airport had to remain vigilant and constantly review its security procedures over the 20 years.

Melbourne Airport went through one of its biggest security threats to date in May when a Malaysian Airlines flight was forced to turn back to Melbourne after a man on board tried to enter the cockpit with what he claimed was a bomb.

Police were able to board the plane after it landed and arrested the man with the device turning out to be a harmless speaker.

"The thing we have to remember with the Malaysia Airlines scare was that the security system actually did work, there was no device that got on to the aircraft that shouldn't have got on to the aircraft," Strambi said.

"We do know that the terrorist threat is ever evolving and ever changing, and we work incredibly closely with the Department of Transport Safety to make sure we're up with the latest trends and requirements."

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