Cairns Airport numbers for May continued a positive response from the nadir:
Passengers in May 2021 were 75.4% of May 2019.
This data is sensitive to small differences in monthly comparisons depending on the lunar ceremonies, leap years, and shifts by a day or so in the timing of weekends and school holidays within the month. May is generally a more benign month.
Looking at BITRE data which lags two months to March 2021 is like driving in the rear-view mirror already. The BNE route which for a period later in 2020 became the top air route in Australia will be my bellwether to watch.
Immediate hurdle ahead this month is impact of the Melbourne lockdown. Direct flights to NZ will also be something to look at in June. Beyond that the sustainability or seasonality of direct flights on new routes will be something to look for later in the year as will the longevity of subsidised air fare effects.
The graphs above also demonstrate the weak trend in air traffic for Cairns prior to Covid 19.