Price of air travel to keep on fall­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

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

Lyell Strambi, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Mel­bourne Air­port, said 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 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 Malaysia Air­lines flight was forced to turn back 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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