• Industry size
  • 38 million
  • total international passenger numbers for 2016 - 17
  • Investment
  • $1.0B
  • annually in airport and air navigation infrastructure
  • Jet Fuel
  • 5.0B litres
  • annual jet fuel purchased by international airlines


International passenger flights into Western Australia since 5 February

15 February 2022

The two or three largely empty international passenger flights landing at Perth Airport each day are only carrying about 70 passengers in total for either hotel or home quarantine. At the same time, thousands of Western Australian citizens (including those from overseas) and other approved travellers are entering the state each day via domestic flights and home quarantine. 


International flights into Western Australia and hotel quarantine

27 January 2022

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) estimates there are some 20,000 Western Australians overseas, of whom only 265 are currently allowed to return each week through hotel quarantine.


International border reopening

Airlines will today return some 1,500 Australians home to their family and loved ones on the 20 international flights arriving into Sydney and Melbourne airports. With almost 50,000 seats a week currently scheduled into these airports, there will be more than enough for the reported 47,000 Australians overseas seeking to return home.


Restarting international travel

2 September 2021

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) welcomes the recent announcements by the NSW Government about its intention to permit greater international travel when vaccination targets are met as described in National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response.

While this commitment is welcome, some practical issues must first be resolved before international travel can restart in a worthwhile and confident manner. The extensive and complex processes now in place at airports allow for a very small number of international passengers and flights each day. Any substantive increase in international flights and passengers is not possible under current operating requirements.


More than 10,000 Australians to remain stranded overseas post 2020

25 November 2020

International arrival caps have been confirmed for international airlines flying into Australia through to the end of the year, with flight arrivals to Sydney allocated at 30−35 passengers per flight. Unfortunately, these caps will result in more than 10,000 Australians being stranded overseas come 31 December. While the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) 1 welcomes the increases to some arrival caps, we estimate that over 10,000 Australians who are currently on official airline waiting lists will not have an opportunity to return home, while airlines continue to fly into Australia with predominantly empty aircraft. These waiting lists represent only some of the Australians overseas seeking to return home, due to most international airlines halting ticket sales some months ago in an attempt to clear the existing backlog of ticket holders.

BARA firmly believes that the progressive re-opening of domestic borders presents an opportunity to bring home many more Australians overseas before the end of 2020 and into the early part of 2021. BARA understands that allocating this freed-up capacity to international flights could permit over 2,000 additional international arrivals each week, making a large difference to the Australians still overseas who currently do not have any prospects of returning home before the year’s end.


Greater international quarantine capacity

21 October 2020

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) notes the number of Australians registered to return home has now increased to over 32,000 despite passengers arriving each day. International airlines were finally today allocated their per flight passenger caps to apply in just four days from now, and those caps cover only four weeks from 25 October. This delay has frustrated international airlines, and disrupted their ability to meet allocated cap numbers; it will also lead to fewer Australians being able to return home in the four weeks to 21 November. It has already led to yet more uncertainty and stress for Australians stranded overseas because international airlines cannot tell many of them when they will be able to travel home.

BARA understands that at present, each week some 1,600 people undergo 14 days of mandatory quarantine when they enter New South Wales from Victoria. If, when the requirements on arrivals from Victoria are eased, this domestic quarantine capacity were allocated to international flights, it would make a big difference. Expanding the New Zealand Safe Travel Zone into all Australian states and territories and a regulatory framework that permits the commercial provision of quarantine services would also benefit Australians stranded overseas.


Australians stranded in the United Kingdom

16 September 2020

International airlines have told the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) that there are likely some 30,000 Australians in the United Kingdom (UK) seeking to return home. Under the current tight international passenger arrival caps into Australia, it will likely take well into 2021 to return all these Australians, noting that some increase in the caps might be forthcoming. Helping the Australians who are camped out at Heathrow Airport  is necessary, but it does not stem the underlying cause of why they are stranded in the UK. That requires an increase in quarantine capacity in Australia combined with a risk-based approach to managing COVID-19.


Largely empty aircraft and the international passenger arrival caps

9 September 2020

International airlines with some 30,000 seats on over 140 flights arrived into Australia in the first week of September. Only about 4,000 of these seats could be offered to passengers while 26,000 (87%) had to remain empty under the tight international passenger arrival caps. It’s clear Australians overseas seeking to return home need better help, and the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) considers the best way to do so is to increase the arrival caps into the major capital city airports. Additional quarantine capacity for international flights at secondary international airports might not be commercially viable for airlines and hence not help Australians stranded overseas.


Commercial viability of international flights in doubt

2 September 2020

The current tight international arrival caps often limit passengers to 30 or less per flight. They are unlikely to be commercially sustainable for long-haul international flights and also make it difficult to return Australians home in an orderly manner. The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA), consistent with the position of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), wants the mandatory quarantine arrangements for all arriving Australians to be reviewed so a risk-based framework can be established. Greater quarantine capacity that could be used more flexibly would also support Australians to return home and help keep international flights commercially viable.


International arrival caps and airline operations

28 August 2020

To date around 19,000 Australians overseas seeking to return home have formally registered their intent to do so with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. However, available information suggests more than 100,000 Australians could be seeking to return home, which is consistent with the reported difficulties faced by many and the current backlog of passengers for international airlines. Assuming 19,000 are but a modest proportion of a much larger total, the international arrival caps will need to be increased to support more orderly outcomes for passengers and international airlines than are presently occurring. Under the existing tight international arrival caps into Australia, with passenger numbers on many arriving international flights capped at about 30, it will likely take six months for international airlines to return 100,000 Australians home.



Airline Views February 2022

  • A simplified and uniform framework
  • Western Australia’s international border ‘reopening’
  • 2020-21 industry revenues
  • Four main issues


Airline Views September 2021

  • Supporting returning Australians
  • International air freight
  • International flight revenues and operating costs
  • Commercial viability and immediate issues


Airline Views May 2021

  1. What is a ‘safe’ international border reopening?
  2. International aviation aircraft passenger load factors
  3. $2 billion annual economic anchor
  4. Australian aviation safety programme



Airline Views March 2021

  1. The commercial viability of international passenger flights
  2. Northern summer 2021 slot waivers
  3. Submission to the ANAO performance audit
  4. IATA and BARA call for collaboration


Airline Views September 2020

  1. Additional international traffic volumes
  2. Northern winter 2020 slot waivers
  3. Passenger arrival allocations per flight post 24 October
  4. Testing before departure


Airline Views March 2020

  1. Cost and efficiency – managing the current downturn
  2. IATA requests global suspension of slot rules
  3. Adelaide Airport jet fuel supply
  4. Long range air traffic flow management



Airline Views September 2019

  1. Understanding airfield wind conditions
  2. 2018-19 international passenger statistics
  3. 2018-19 international baggage statistics
  4. Measuring baggage outcome accountabilities


Airline Views March 2019

  1. Productivity Commission Draft Report: Airport regulation
  2. International on time departures performance
  3. Sydney Airport’s FOD problem
  4. Sydney Airport’s fuel throughput levy



Airline Views November 2018

  1. Airport operator service delivery accountabilities
  2. Accountability examples
  3. Future commercial airport agreements
  4. 2017-18 international baggage statistics



Airline Views September 2018

  1. Airport services commercial benchmarks
  2. Value for money in airport services
  3. Unfavourable commercial terms
  4. Reforming the supply of jet fuel



Environmentally sustainable growth

This paper identifies initiatives for how airlines, air navigation service providers and governments can capitalise on emerging aircraft and air navigation technologies to improve operational performance of aircraft, benefitting the environment and the community.


Supporting commercially viable international air services at Western Sydney Airport

BARA’s member airlines have identified the infrastructure service outcomes necessary to enable commercially viable international air services at the proposed Western Sydney Airport.


Safe and efficient air navigation services

This paper articulates a series of pathways which aim to promote the ongoing development of air navigation services to allow aircraft to operate more efficiently and predictably, while maintaining safety. Central to this is ensuring investments in air navigation technologies and procedures are customer-driven.


A Competitive Supply of Jet Fuel

Jet fuel is international aviation’s largest cost item, often representing over 40 per cent of an airline’s operating costs in Australia. The current uncompetitive supply of jet fuel unnecessarily increases industry costs and constrains growth.



Vision and Outcomes for International Aviation in Australia

BARA’s vision for aviation in Australia is ‘High quality, adaptive and efficient’.

BARA has identified four key outcomes to boost competitiveness, productivity and the financial performance of industry participants.

Outcome 1: Timely and reasonably priced airport infrastructure
Outcome 2: Competitive supply of jet fuel
Outcome 3: Safe and efficient air navigation
Outcome 4: Environmentally sustainable growth


Timely and Reasonably Priced Airport Infrastructure

This policy paper describes the challenges faced by Australia’s international aviation industry in seizing the opportunity to double its size and contribution to the Australian economy over the next 20 years. The core challenge is to expand the capacity of airport infrastructure while improving the industry’s productivity and service quality outcomes.


submissions and overviews

2018-19 Industry Snapshot

The 2018-19 Industry Snapshot provides an overview of international passenger numbers, average airfares, on time performance and baggage outcomes.


Submission to the Productivity Commission

BARA responds to Sydney Airport’s submission (dated 17 May 2019) in regard to commercial accountability and performance data and contract clauses to silence airline complaints.


Supplementary submission to the Productivity Commission

BARA’s submission highlights how the airport operators’ claims and the Commission’s draft conclusions are not grounded in the practical commercial content of the airport services agreements. Baggage outcomes for 2018 are used to show the lack of airport operator accountability.



PC public hearings: Opening remarks

BARA focussed on the need for the Productivity Commission to take the genuine and legitimate concerns of international airlines over problems in airport services seriously.


Productivity Commission Draft Report

BARA’s response to the Draft Report on the economic regulation of airports dispels the misconception that international airlines are biased, regulatory gamers.

Download BARA’s submission here.

BARA supplementary submission

BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the economic regulation of airports addresses some highly inaccurate statements by Sydney Airport about BARA’s position on some commercial outcomes reached with them.



BARA seeks value for money in Airport Services

BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission calls for firmer economic regulation that would focus airport operators on improving core services and be reasonable in price setting to the benefit of passengers, airlines and Australia’s tourism industry.

Download the submission HERE

Securing more competition and reliability for jet fuel

BARA’s submission to the Productivity Commission calls for greater competition between jet fuel suppliers, which will bring innovation and greater efficiency in supply, delivering lower-priced and more reliable jet fuel.

Download the submission HERE


Light-handed economic regulation

The Board of Airline Representatives of Australia (BARA) has provided its view on the outcomes and issues with the light-handed economic regulation of Australia’s major international airports.


Safe and efficient air navigation services

BARA’s latest policy paper articulates the ways in which the air navigation system can underpin improved industry performance through increased efficiency and predictability in safe aircraft operations.


BARA is a member driven industry body that delivers value through setting the expectations and outcomes for Australia’s aviation infrastructure services.