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The NSW-Victoria border shutdown strikes at the heart of one of the busiest and most lucrative air corridors in the world.
Thanks to business travellers and holiday-makers shuffling between the two capital cities, Melbourne-Sydney flights are a major domestic money-maker for Australia’s airlines.
In peak periods before COVID-19, a flight took off between Sydney and Melbourne every 15 minutes.
The empty Qantas domestic terminal at Melbourne Airport on Tuesday. Picture: Daniel Pockett/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Passengers from Melbourne arrive at Sydney Airport ahead of the border lockdown. Picture: Richard DobsonSource:News Corp Australia
That’s a lot, even on a global scale. Sydney-Melbourne was ranked the world’s second busiest flight path last year by air traffic data company OAG, with 54,102 flights tracked in the 12 months to February 2019.
It was second only to the Jeju-Seoul air corridor in South Korea, which saw more than 79,000 flights in the same period.
By virtue of that incredible demand, last year Sydney-Melbourne was named the world’s second most profitable route. OAG estimated Qantas fetched $1.23 billion from its Sydney-Melbourne flights alone in 2018/19 – a whopping $34,000 an hour.
This article first appeared on news.com.au
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