Airports & Growth

Cairns Airport passenger numbers for August have been posted just a few weeks after the delayed July data. Nothing much changes with domestic growth for the month at 1.8% and international at 3.4%. August is typically the peak seasonal month for international while it is July for domestic. That leaves annual growth gliding along at a lower slower growth trajectory.

Airport August 1

BITRE now have comparison data for the top 20 airports year to June. These are reported on a slightly different basis to the numbers directly from the Airport and are presented here ex-Proserpine where the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie last year continues to mess with the Whitsundays.
BITRE June 1
Just as well Gold Coast had the benefit of the Commonwealth Games during the year to boost their traffic numbers eh.

Meanwhile it’s not all fun and games down in Canberra where the¬†Productivity Commission is in the midst of an inquiry into the Economic Regulation of Airports

There are more than 50 submissions posted so far, including from North Queensland Airports (Cairns and Mackay), which I haven’t had time yet to peruse. The Qantas submission has attracted some media reports for taking a swing at the market power of the airports.

Something to keep on the radar given the significance of the airport to Cairns. Privatisation of the airport by the Bligh Government in 2008 was specifically linked to funding the Cairns Hospital expansion.



Kachink Kaboom

Hasn’t it been a wonderful spell of fine weather the past few months in our FNQ paradise. I just assume that most are like me and try to make the most by getting outside. But no. Apparently what people do more is go and play pokies (Electronic Gaming Machines) in hotels and clubs.

Pokies August

Yes, pokie player losses in Cairns SA4 region surged again in August up 10.3% on last year (ex Reef Casino). This was more than double the also buoyant 4.6% growth for Queensland for the month and shames another lamentable performance by Townsville with just 2.3% growth in player losses.

Douglas again boosted the numbers up 26.5% on expanded EGM numbers from 169 to 178 pokies over the year. Cairns City SA2 also outperformed the mean. Cairns Regional Council area, where most of the people and pokies are, was up 8.8% on last August. August surpassed July in Cairns for the first time on available data.

Growth in EGM pokie player losses currently seems to be outperforming any other statistic I am aware of for the region?

Low altitude Airport

Delayed Cairns Airport numbers for July now posted absent any commentary. Apparently the July numbers were delayed as the format is under review.

The trend decline continues:

Airport July 3
Airport July 2

Airport July 1

Annual growth in domestic now at just 1.2% (ex transits etc) is the lowest since the 2010 recovery from post GFC declines. Constraints in higher end accommodation capacity may be having some marginal effect although doubt that would be significant to the trend. Something to watch as that capacity starts to return later in the year.

Source: Cairns Airport