Melbourne Airport’s busiest period in more than two years to begin tomorrow

Melbourne Airport staff are preparing for the airport’s busiest period in more than two years, with the winter school holidays set to begin tomorrow.

More than 2.1 million passengers are expected to pass through Melbourne Airport between Friday and July 17, marking an increase on the 1.7 million passengers who travelled through the airport during the three-week Easter holiday period.

Melbourne Airport CEO Lorie Argus said airport management had been working to put extra support into the system ahead of the busy time.

There were massive queues at Melbourne Airport on June 10. (9News)

“We’ve been preparing for school holidays for some weeks now,” she said.

However, Argus said there were still staff shortages at the airport, as was the case around the world.

She said passengers should leave plenty of time to be processed at the airport, but also warned against them arriving too early.

“We encourage people to allow time to get to the airport, check in and go through security, as there may be queues, particularly at peak travel times.

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“Equally, we’d ask people don’t arrive too early, because some airlines don’t open check-in until two hours before a domestic departure and threes hours prior to an international flight.”

Argus said people arriving too early for flights just created congestion at already busy times.

She said passengers on domestic flights should arrive one to two hours before their flight and those on international flights should arrive two to three hours beforehand.

In response to questions about an increase of bags being lost in transit in recent months, Argus said passengers should be prepared to live without their luggage for short period of time.

Melbourne Airport is going to be busy in coming weeks. (Chris Hopkins)

She said measures to improve congestion at the airport in coming weeks had involved scheduling busier flights at the closest gates, increased shift coverage at security screening points, extra technicians around for infrastructure issues and extra cleaning services.

While Melbourne Airport is set to be busy in the coming weeks, Argus said the airport was still only at 80 per cent of its capacity when both domestic and international flights were taken into consideration.

Of the 2.1 million people who will use Melbourne Airport in coming weeks, 1.6 million will be travelling domestically, with just 447,000 taking international trips.

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