THE Australian dollar today crashed through 95 US cents, virtually guaranteeing the historic surge in international travel by Australians will continue through the key Christmas-New Year travel period, placing extra pressure on the fragile domestic industry. In the year to June 30, one million more people left Australia for holidays or business trips than arrived, the greatest imbalance ever. Just nine years ago the situation was reversed with almost 1.5 million more people coming to Australia than departing.

The latest statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Economics reveal international passenger traffic in June 2010 reached 2.092m compared to 1.830m in June 2009 – an increase of 14.3%. This follows month on month increases of more than 9% between September 2009 and March 2010 and more moderate increases of 4.3% in April 2010 and 6.9% in May 2010.

Total seats on international flights to/from Australia during June 2010 were 2.828m – 8.8% more than June 2009. Load factor has increased from 71.4 per cent in June 2009 to 74.8 per cent in June 2010.

Meanwhile, MAp Airports, reports that Sydney Airport, Australia’s major gateway, recorded its strongest Augest ever with an average of 95,000 passengers every day.

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