1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2010  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/09/2010   
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Passenger journeys by air(a)
Graph Image for Passenger journeys by air(a)

Footnote(s): (a) The unit of measurement is traffic on board (which includes transit traffic). Includes revenue passengers only. (b) Includes arrivals to, and departures from Australia.

Source(s): BITRE, Domestic airline industry annual summaries 1944 to 2008 and 1944-45 to 2008-09; BITRE, Annual totals (flights, passengers, freight and mail)


Rail, sea and air transport are all important in Australia. Rail and light rail (trams) move a considerable number of passengers within urban areas. In 2007-08, 711.3 million passenger rail journeys occurred in Australia's urban areas, a 19% increase from 2002-03 figures. The continual increase in passenger journeys from 2002-03 to 2007-08 reflects a growth in population, increased CBD employment, rising fuel prices and increased services.

Rail also carries a good deal of Australian freight. In 2007-08, 719.1 million tonnes of freight were moved by rail, a 25% increase from 575.7 million tonnes moved in 2002-03. Much of the growth in freight tonnes moved during this time is attributable to an increase in the trade and transport of iron ore and coal (ARA 2009).

Sea transport focuses on the long distance movement of bulk commodities, such as metal ores, petroleum and coal. In 2007-08, 119.3 million tonnes of coastal freight moved across Australian wharves, a 24% increase on 1998-99 when 96.5 million tonnes were moved. In 2007-08, 789.6 million tonnes of international freight were moved, representing a 62% increase from 1998-99 (when 488.1 million tonnes were moved) (BITRE 2009b).

Air transport complements other transport modes by transporting people and freight over long distances in shorter times. Over the decade from 1998 to 2008, the number of domestic passenger journeys nearly doubled, increasing from 23.6 million to 44.1 million. This was reflected in the number of passenger kilometres travelled, increasing from 26.8 billion to 54.1 billion kilometres (BITRE 2009c). During the same decade the number of international passenger journeys both to and from Australia also increased, rising from 14.2 million in 1998 to 23.5 million in 2008. The only year-to-year decreases recorded for international passenger journeys to and from Australia were 2001 to 2002 and 2002 to 2003, and can most likely be attributed to the September 2001 terrorist attacks and the international SARS outbreak (BITRE 2009a).


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