MORE than 1.25 million passengers slipped through Newcastle Airport in the past 12 months, setting a new record for the growing Williamtown hub.
The 12 months to June 30 ticked up an extra 77,490 passengers compared to the previous period, a 6.6 per cent increase in patrons.
July marks the 20th consecutive month of passenger number growth at Williamtown.
The airport’s chief executive, Dr Peter Cock, attributed the changes to growth from all airlines flying into the airport.
“Looking at our passenger demographics the growth equates to 34,000 more business people who are able to live in the Hunter but do business in the world, and 40,000 more visits bringing family and friends together,” he said.
“It means that the airlines are taking notice of our region: they are putting in more seats into our market, and our community is responding by booking these extra seats.”
Dr Cock said the new focus was on encouraging the use of Williamtown as the beginning of any journey, domestic or international.
“Our region has been conditioned into thinking that if you’re flying to a destination that Newcastle Airport doesn’t have a direct flight to, that we need to travel down the M1,” he said.
“This is simply not true.”
Fairfax Media has reported the airport, which flies directly to nine destinations, is seeking suitors to fly internationally from as early as November this year.