Melbourne Airport to run international flights from domestic terminals

By David Flynn, August 14 2018
Melbourne Airport to run international flights from domestic terminals

Melbourne Airport plans to run international flights from its domestic Qantas and Virgin Australia terminals within five years.

The move will allow both airlines to easily switch aircraft such as the Airbus A330 and Boeing 787 between domestic and international routes.

The airport aims to install versatile 'swing gates' at the T1 and T3 terminals, which will allow international passengers to board their flights at the domestic terminal.

Three swing gates are expected to be added over the next five years with as many as five more by the late 2020s.

"What these projects are intended to do is meet that international growth challenge by using latent or spare capacity in the domestic terminals," said Melbourne Airport Planning Executive Michael Jarvis.

"It will require some surgery to the buildings but by augmenting the existing domestic piers with segregated corridors and vertical transport at the gate lounges, we can add the infrastructure to existing gates rather than building new ones," Jarvis told industry publication The Airport Professional.

Jarvis stressed that while the airport still intends "to build dedicated international gates", swing gates are a cost-effective way to boost capacity while streamlining the transfer process for many passengers.

Also read: Here’s what you need to know about the Melbourne Airport Rail Link


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 366

Just a thought, but is it time to look at building a brand new terminal complex at Tullamarine? There have been so many bits added on here and there over the years, all just band aid solutions.


01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

If you look at the masterplan they're moving towards a cohesive, mega-terminal building over the long term. Not quite the same as starting with a fresh slate, but better than nothing

05 May 2016

Total posts 631

I wonder what this will mean for access to international lounges if a flight is departing from the domestic section of the airport.

At least in Tullamarine you can walk between Terminals easily unlike SYD where you need to go in a vehicle between terminals.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

They would build passages from T2 to the closest piers at T1 and T3 and moveable walls/doors in the domestic terminals allowing gates to be closed off from the rest of the terminal.

When an international flight is using the domestic terminal gate, they close the walls in the terminal around the gate area and open the door in the corridor from the international terminal. You would still clear immigration in T2. They would likely be looking at gates 2, 4 and 6 in T1 and 1, 3 and 5 in T3.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 May 2018

Total posts 64

I would imagine that they would build an after Immigration walk way across to T1 and T3.. Thus access to international terminal lounges wouldn't be affected. At Qantas it would probably be gates 2 & 4 , using the smaller jets to NZ?

05 May 2016

Total posts 631

I wonder if that'd also mean that those on JQ international flights that are solely between Australian cities not really overseas would be directed to domestic lounges?

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 387

Is there the room to do this (physically) without impinging on the area that aircraft need?

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1024

Yes. A bridge over the airside road which hugs the terminal.


17 Jun 2014

Total posts 17

Maybe they'll actually get used unlike in PER (that being said - I have boarded Gate 50 on both domestic and international flights, but with the low number of VA 'international' flights out of PER, I am yet to see them operated in the manner described in the article).


28 Feb 2015

Total posts 7

Hopefully these changes will include UNDERCOVER access to arrival/departure and taxi pickup areas.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

26 Jul 2012

Total posts 37

Seriously ???? Melb Airport like all Aust airports are a meccano set, and this loans itself further to that. Melb Airport has the room for a midfield terminal, Melb is the fastest growing city in Aust, It will have real competition when the privately funded SE Melb airport is built in a few years time! Melb airport is an embarrassment and needs real capital works to be spent and not this band aid solution!

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