A Snapshot Of Airline Activity At Adelaide Airport Across One Day

Adelaide International Airport (ADL) is Australia’s fifth busiest passenger airport, handling 616,300 passengers in September 2019, or 7,344,400 passengers in the twelve months to September 2019.

The dual international and domestic terminal was opened in 2005 and is a pleasure to use. The terminal is 850 metres from end to end and can handle up to 27 aircraft at any one time, including aircraft up to A380 size. Capable of handing 3000 passengers per hour, there are 42 check-in counters, 14 aerobridges, and a variety of dining, retail, and lounge options.

I’ve taken a look at activity at Adelaide Airport on a single day, Thursday 28 November 2019.

What airlines use Adelaide?

Fifteen airlines use Adelaide Airport including eight international airlines. In addition to those eight airlines, Qantas’ low cost carrier Jetstar flies between Adelaide and Denpasar. Neither Qantas nor Virgin Australia offer international services from Adelaide. Domestic carriers that use Adelaide Airport include Qantas, Jetstar, Tigerair Australia, Virgin Australia, Regional Express, Alliance Airlines and Cobham Aviation.

Breaking it down over one day

On Thursday 28 November 2019, Adelaide Airport had 267 commercial aircraft movements. Of these, 13 or 4.8% were international movements, the remainder were domestic movements.

Virgin Australia282856
Regional Express252550
Tigerair Australia5510
Alliance Airlines121224
Cobham Aviation448
Malaysia Airlines112
China Southern Airlines112
Qatar Airways112
Emirates Airlines112
Cathay Pacific Airlines112
Singapore Airlines112

Of the 7 international arrivals on Thursday 28 November 2019, there was a Jetstar flight from Denpasar, a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kualu Lumpur, a Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore, a China Southern flight from Guangzhou, a Qatar Airways flight from Doha and a Emirates flight from Dubai. All except Jetstar operated return flights on the same day.

Malindo Air flies into Adelaide but did not operate a flight on Thursday 28 November 2019.

Fiji Airways flew between Adelaide and Nadi using Boeing 737-800 aircraft but ceased that service in July 2019.

Airline market share at Adelaide Airport

Determining airline market share at Adelaide Airport by aircraft movements on Thursday 28 November 2019 reveals the following:

Airline% of total aircraft movements at ADL
Virgin Australia20.9
Regional Express18.6
Tigerair Australia3.6
Alliance Airlines8.9
Cobham Aviation3
Malaysia Airlines0.75
China Southern Airlines0.75
Qatar Airways0.75
Emirates Airlines0.75
Cathay Pacific Airlines0.75
Singapore Airlines0.75

Domestic airlines activity at Adelaide

International arrivals and departures are fairly straightforward. But anaylsing domestic airline activity at Adelaide Airport is more complex. The seven domestic carriers using Adelaide Airport fly to a total of 24 domestic destinations.

The busiest route is between Adelaide and Melbourne. It is serviced by Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair Australia. It is Australia’s fifth busiest airline route with 1588 flights carrying 210,900 passengers in September 2019. On Thursday 28 November 2019, Qantas had 25 flights on this route, Virgin Australia had 20 flights, Jetstar had five flights, and Tigerair Australia had six flights.

The next busiest route out of Adelaide is to Sydney. It was Australia’s eighth busiest airline route in September 2019 with 1063 flights carrying 152,900 passengers. Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tigerair Australia and Jetstar all fly the route. On Thursday 28 November 2019, Qantas had 21 flights on the route, Virgin Australia had 13 flights, Jetstar had eight flights, and Tigerair Australia had two flights.

Other reasonably busy trunk routes out of Adelaide include Adelaide to Brisbane and Adelaide to Perth. Only Qantas and Virgin Australia fly between Adelaide and Perth, between them offering 16 flights on Thursday 28 November 2019. Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Tigerair Australia all fly the Adelaide to Brisbane route, with 21 flights between the four airlines on Thursday 28 November 2019.

The majority of other domestic destinations served from Adelaide only receive one or two flights a day. There are a few notable exceptions. Alliance Airlines had ten return flights to Olympic Dam on Thursday 28 November 2019. However, these were mining FIFO flights.

Two hotly contested intra state routes include Adelaide to Port Lincoln and Adelaide to Whyalla. Qantas and Regional Express compete on both routes. There were 26 flights on Adelaide – Port Lincoln route on Thursday 28 November 2019 and 16 flights on the Adelaide – Whyalla route.

Regional Express punches above its weight at Adelaide Airport

Commuter airline Regional Express has a big presence at Adelaide Airport. It had 50 flights in and out of Adelaide on Thursday 28 November 2019. In terms of aircraft movements, it has the second biggest presence at the airport after Qantas.

In addition to Whyalla and Port Lincoln, Regional Express flies to Broken Hill, Ceduna, Cooper Pedy, Kingscote and Mt Gambier from Adelaide.

The table below provides a snapshot of combined aircraft movements going to and arriving from domestic destinations at Adelaide Airport on Thursday 28 November 2019.

Alice Springs123
Gold Coast224
Port Lincoln131326
Broken Hill336
Mt Gambier235
Port Augusta44
Prominant Hill22
Cooper Pedy112
Olympic Dam101020

It should also be noted that a handful of the aircraft movements on Thursday 28 November 2019 were FIFO charters whose orgin and / or destination was not disclosed


Categories: Adelaide Airport

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