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9 Airlines Heading to Australia in 2020

With the new year here we can begin the countdown to some very exciting new routes – both locked in and being trialled – coming to Australia in 2020.

Cheap flights are the common side effect of new route announcements, as exiting airlines vye to continue to be the market leader, but also it gives us travellers opportunity to travel with greater ease if needing to make a stopover en-route to our dream vacation destination!

One thing I predict we are sure to see is that competition from Asian airlines continues to grow in Australia. I believe that north-east Asia will be the biggest winner in the region as popularity for visiting Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea continues to grow.

Vietnam is also going to win as tourism continues to surge to the Southeast Asian country fast becomes a favourite with Aussies seeking something different than the usual Bali or Phuket holidays. Two Vietnam airlines are tapped to begin flights to Australia in 2020: Vietjet and Bamboo Airways.

Finally, I believe Melbourne Avalon Airport is going to finally begin to boom. Previously offering only several domestic flights with Jetstar, this week the airport is celebrating its one year anniversary offering international services between Kuala Lumpur and Avalon. The roaring success has lead to several other low-cost carriers (LLC) seeking to base their Australian flights from here in a massive win for this airport near the Great Ocean Road.

Here are 9 airlines heading to Australia in 2020!

El Al: Tel Aviv (TLV) to Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL)

El Al will be trialling three flights from Tel Aviv to Melbourne in April and May 2020, as the Israeli carrier evaluates launching regular non-stop services between the destinations.

These flights will be the longest flights that El Al operate and will operated using their fresh Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The flight from Tel Aviv to Melbourne will be one of the longest flights in the world as flights are expected to be 16 hours and 15 minutes, with the return expected to take 17 hours and 45 minutes.

The route aids connections for Australia’s growing Jewish community, which is primarily found residing in Melbourne.

Citilink is now flying their Airbus A330neo to Perth and Melbourne, Australia

Citilink: Bali Denpasar (DPS) to Melbourne Avalon (AVV)

Located just a short drive from Geelong and the Great Ocean Road, it’s not surprising that you have not heard of Melbourne’s second airport. This little airport once serviced only Domestic routes, but a big change is occuring as it becomes a hub for low-cost international airlines wanting to service Melbourne.

After the successful launch of two daily flights from Melbourne Avalon to Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia in 2019, a new airline is joining the departure board beginning over the Australia Day long-weekend.

Indonesian low-cost airline Citilink will begin operating daily flights from Avalon Airport to Denpasar onboard their A330neo. Aussie tourists seeking a bargain priced flight to the popular holiday destination will be seated in the all-Economy configuration; if you feel like a little extra leg room you may want to sit in the first few rows called the ‘Green Zone’ for a few extra dollars.

This will be the second Austalian city which Citilink operate from after launching flights from Perth to Denpasar in late 2019.

Read next: How to get to Melbourne Avalon Airport

Vietjet A321XLR warp

Vietjet:  Ho Chi Minh (SGN) to Brisbane (BNE) and Melbourne Avalon (AVV)

With the rise in popularity of Vietnam with Australians, it’s exciting to see Vietnamese low-cost carrier, Vietjet launching two routes to Australia in 2020!

The first will be to Brisbane International, originally slated to launch in late 2019. At the time of writing, it appears a launch date has not been made public. This service will also allow VietJet to offer flights to Brisbane from both Delhi International and Taipei Taoyuan, via Ho Chi Minh – two of the cities most important tourism markets.

Melbourne’s Avalon Airport will be the second destination to run services between Australia and the Vietnamese capital. Services are set to begin in the second half of 2020, subejct to regulatory approval.

According to Reuters, Vietjet plan to fly the Airbus A321XLR to both Australian destinations.

Phillipine Airlines: Manilla (MNL) to Perth (PER)

In an exciting win for Western Australians, Phillipine Airlines will launch a new four-times weekly non-stop service between Manila and Perth in March 2020.

The Phillipino national carrier will be operating the service on a narrowbody A321neo aircraft in a two-cabin configuration, providing Australian travellers with more options when holidaying.

The first flight is scheduled for March 30, 2020.

Perth Airport is rapidly expanding, having added 400,000 new seats of capacity in the past 12-months and being the hub for Qantas’ non-stop Perth to London services.

This will be Philippine Airlines’ fourth destination in Australia, following Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney.

Jetstar: Gold Coast Coolangatta (OOL) to Seoul (ICN)

With rich history, beautiful nature and vibrant food scene, a trip to South Korea is sure to jump to the top of many Australian’s bucketlists now that Jetstar has begun the first low cost connection to the Korean capital.

Flying between Gold Coast Coolongata (OOL) and Seoul Incheon (ICN) three-times per week onboard their Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners; the service, which launched in December 2019, is already proving popular.

This service is a codeshare partnership with Jeju Air, Korea’s top low-cost carrier.

Bamboo Airways Boeing 787

Bamboo Airways: Ho Chi Minh (SGN) to Melbourne Tullamarine (MEL)

With the launch of Bamboo Airlines, Vietnam’s newest full-service airline, also comes exciting news for Australian travellers.

The ambitious airline wants to fly to Melbourne using their brand new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner by the second quarter of 2020.

The goal of the airline is to provide serivices connecting Australia with Europe via Vietnam. This would offer competition to more established airlines, including Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

Currently, state-owned carrier Vietnam Airlines flies one-flight daily between Ho Chi Minh and Melbourne Tullamarine onboard an Airbus A350-900.

Jetstar Australia also flies 3-weekly services between the Vietnamese capital and Melbourne Tullamarine on a Boeing 787-8.

Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet have also announced their intention to begin flights to Melbourne Avalon in 2020.

Read next: Where to stay near Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Virgin Australia: Melbourne (MEL) to Bali Denpasar (DPS)

Australia’s who want to holiday in Indonesia’s holiday capital, Bali, now is the time to book a trip!

Virgin Australia are re-launching flights from Mebourne Tullamarine to Bali Denpasar on  2020.

Services will be operated on a Boeing 737 and operate five-time a week.

One thing travellers will enjoy is the choice of options Virgin Australia offer. While Virgin’s 737’s do operate in a two-class configuration, they also offer Economy X on this flight. Passengers who upgrade will receieve extra legroom, priority screening and boarding, and allocated overhead baggage storage.

Virgin Australia will be one of three full-service carriers on the route departing Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, including Indonesian Airline Garuda and Qantas.

The route is also served by two low-cost carriers, including Malaysia’s Malindo Air and Jetstar Australia.

Indonesian low-cost carrier CitiLink will be launching direct flights from Melbourne’s Avalon Airport, located 60-kilometres south-west of Tullamarine, in late January 2020.

Virgin Australia: Brisbane (BNE) to Tokyo Haneda (HND)

Australia’s appetite for Japan continues to grow! In order to meet the demand, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport granted Virgin Australia a slot, allowing it to launch daily services between Brisbane and Tokyo-Haneda in March.

Virgin Australia plans to fly their Airbus A330-200, with flights beginning 29 March, 2020.

Virgin Australia has also recently announced a new partnership with Japanese carrier All Nippon Airways (ANA). This allows travellers to earn frequent flyer points and codechare of select flights.

Tokyo-Haneda is one of the city’s two international airports but closer to downtown Tokyo than Narita Airport.

Qantas has also been allocated a slot for daily service from Tokyo-Haneda, however it is not yet clear how the airline will use this new slot. At the time of writing Qantas flies between Sydney and Haneda, but their Melbourne flights land at Narita airport, which is furhter from Tokyo’s city centre.
Qantas has a partership with OneWorld partner JAL for codeshare flights and its frequent flyer programs.

Fiji Airways Airbus A350-900

Fiji Airways: Nadi (NAN) to Sydney International (SYD) onboard the A350

I have not yet seen a nation as proud of an aircraft as Fijians are about their national carriers new A350-900s. While I was there last week, taxi drivers pointed out the signs to me, asking if I flew it and the crew were clearly happy to be working the sleek aircraft (the verbal confirmation by a team member I ask did confirm this!).

Fiji Airways new aircraft – one of two introduced to their fleet in late 2019 – is a big boost to tourism efforts for the tiny island nation. Capacity on the route increased by 15% per flight with the aircraft change, which one can assume means that demand to Fiji are increasing and that extra seats are needed to meet tdhe deman.

Fiji Airways aircraft are a huge step up from the A330s which were previously servicing the route. They operate a three-class configuration. With Business class, Bula space seats (Economy seats with extra leg room for an additional fee), and Economy, seas.

The A350’s are solely running on Sydney to Nadi and Nadi to Los Angeles flights, though the airline has indicated they want to introduce more of the fuel-efficient variant into their fleet sooner rather than later.

It’s clear the airline has big ambitions in the Pacific market as Fiji Airways have been touting this flight as being Sydney to Los Angeles via Nadi. 

With Fiji Airways offering direct services from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, and competitive prices on seats to Los Angeles, a one-stop option may be favourable for some passengers should Fiji’s Nadi International Airport be able to perfect the transit experience.

Currently, both Auckland and Melbourne are far more transit friendly than Sydney and Honolulu, which may be appealing for travellers from Adelaide, Canberra and Perth who have no other option but to transit through one of these locations to reach Los Angeles.

Read next: Flight Review – Fiji Airways A350 Economy Review (Coming soon!)

Turkish Airlines Boeing B787-9

Other potential developments

Turkish Airlines: is 2020 the year they fly to Australia?

There has been talk for years that Turkish Airlines wants to launch flights to Australia, yet nothing has manifested yet. With the move to Istanbul New Airport complete and having now received their first bath of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, could 2020 be the year that the Istanbul-based carrier begins flights to Australia?

I believe that the biggest barrier to Turkish launching this sought after route – and providing Australians with a partner to connect to the Middle East and Europe – comes down to range. Istanbul to Sydney is roughly 14,950km. That’s 480km further than Qantas’ current Perth – London service, which takes almost 18 hours of flying time. It also means that the route lies beyond the range of the 787-9.

One option is that Turkish could fly to Sydney via an intermediate destination, operating a Fifth Freedom route.

Currently, Turkish Airlines relies on its Star Alliance partnerships with Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand to service Australia and New Zealand.

Hobart Airport to… the world?

It was announced in late 2019 that Hobart Airport is keen to improve the terminal and adding international flights to Australia’s ‘apple isle’.

As a booming tourism destination in its own right, Tasmania is a popular destination for Chinese and southeast Asian travellers. As the last capital city in Australia not offering international flights, it represents a great opportunity for the right carriers, particularly as an export destination with the island producing an abundance of crops and home to a large wine industry.

Currently, most travellers wishing to visit Tasmania travel via Melbourne before connecting onto a one-hour flight to Hobart Airport (HBT). It also competes with Launceston Airport (LST) located 177 kilometres away by road.

Qantas Planning on Flying Direct to India?

At Qantas‘ Investory Day Presentation it was announce that the airline is considering flights between Australia and India.

The growing middle class among its 1.37 billion population represents Australia’s fastest-frowing inbound market, and Qantas is keep for a slice of that pie.

At the Investors Day Presentation it was cited that the country still represents “low volumes, fragmented over many cities and low yield”. However, they did state that a “South East Asian hub[s] remain (the) best way to service demand”.

This potentially cites Qantas and/or Jetstar’s Singapore hub as a base for flights to key Indian cities “in the medium term.”

Further out, the airlines says, is “long term potential to operate direct services from east coast Australia.”

This would mean that customers living in Melbourne could be in India in as little as 14-hours. Flights from Melbourne to Singapore have a flight time of 7hrs 50minutes, and flights from Singapore to New Delhi have a flight time of 5hrs and 55minutes.

Currently Air India operates flight from Sydney and Melbourne to New Delhi, though Singapore Airlines carries many passengers to other parts of the country with one-stop in Singapore.

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The Best Hotels near Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL)

Hyatt Place Essendon Fields - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Written in January 2020.

Planning a stopover or layover in Melbourne? Perhaps you have an early flight and don’t want to rush to start your day. Whatever your reason, a night at a hotel near Melbourne Airport is a great way to start your trip or refresh mid-journey.

As one of Australia’s largest airports, the cities main airport (there is also a second airport at Avalon) regularly has great deals on flights to Asia, New Zealand, and beyond.

But where to stay near Melbourne Airport?

I’ve rounded up the best options in this handy post, including information about sleeping at Melbourne Airport (do-able but not recommended if you want to start your journey fresh!)

Can I sleep at Melbourne Airport?

Technically, Melbourne Tullamarine Airport is open 24-hours. However, it is likely you will not be able to stay past check-points.

This is not the most friendly airport to sleep in as most chairs have armrests, and there are few quiet corners. There is plenty of space to stretch out on the floor.

If you do want to sleep in the airport, I recommend these areas:

  • Terminal 1 (Qantas): in the arrivals area there are benches near the luggage conveyor belts. When I slept here last, there was security monitoring all night but if you sleep near the staff entrance (down the end where the bathrooms are) there is a staff entrance and it gets noisy around 4 am as staff arrive. There’s also a lot of powerpoints on the pillars near the benches!
  • Terminal 2 (International): You will find quite a lot of passengers sleeping in the arrivals hall, though many chairs do have railings. This is probably the busiest place at night if you want to be surrounded by people. For a quiet spot, head up to the check-in hall. There are a few chairs, however, if you don’t mind sleeping on the floor, there are plenty of quiet spots to enjoy a good kip.
  • Terminal 3 (Virgin): There are limited options to sleep in this compact terminal. The best place to sleep in T3 is down the escalators near the shops, pre-security. There’s a quiet corridor you can stretch out in if you don’t mind sleeping on the floor.
  • Terminal 4 (Low-cost): Again, there are not many spaces in Terminal 4 to sleep. The corridor connecting Terminals 3 & 4 is fairly quieted. Another option is the area pre-security. You’ll often find people sleeping on the floor or window ledges.

Are there showers at Melbourne Airport?

There are free showers in Terminal 2. Take the corridor on the departure level between Terminal 1 (Qantas) and Terminal 2 (International). Around halfway down near Nando’s, there is a bathroom. You will need to bring your own towel and toiletries, or purchase from the nearby stores.

I recommend travelling with an eco-friendly microfibre towel.

Are there in-terminal hotels at Melbourne Airport?

At the time of writing, there are no in-terminal hotels.

Currently, the airport is in talks with Aerotel about building a property on-site as the airport continues upgrades to the International terminal. No deals have been signed yet.

Construction of a new dual-branded Accor property has begun construction at Melbourne Airport. This will become a Novotel and ibis Styles property, located adjacent to Terminal 4 (the low-cost terminal). The opening date is slated to be in 2021.

Which hotels are near Melbourne Airport

Check out the handy comparison chart below to choose the perfect hotel near Melbourne Airport:

HOTELLOCATIONRATINGFREE
WIFI?
FOOD?FEATURESPRICE
PARKROYAL
Melbourne Airport
At the
airport
4-starYesOn-site restaurant
& bar
Walk to terminal
Pool
Gym
$$$
Holiday Inn
Melbourne Airport
Next to
the airport
4-starYesOn-site restaurant & barGym
Free shuttle to
the airport
Walk to terminal
$$
ibis Budget
Melbourne Airport
Next to
the airport
3-starNoContinental breakfast
Vending machines
Budget-conscious
Walk to terminal
$
Mantra
Tullamarine
4-minute drive
to the airport
4-starNoOn-site restaurant & barFree shuttle to
the airport
Pool
Gym
$$
Hyatt Place
Essendon Fields
10-minute
drive
to the airport
4-starYesOn-site restaurant & bar
Close to DFO shops &
restaurants
Free shuttle to
the airport
Gym
Close to shops
$$

The Best Hotels at Melbourne Airport

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport

The closest hotel to Melbourne Airport’s domestic and international terminals. Linked directly to the terminal via sky bridge, PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport offers the ideal location for travellers.

Whether you need to rest before a flight or refresh before heading home, spacious guest rooms are appointed with comfortable beds, choice of pillows and both showers and baths. Rooms also come with city skyline, airport and mountain views.

During your stay enjoy the hotel amenities, including access to the indoor pool, gym, free WiFi, and on-site restaurant & bar.

If you are connecting onto another flight, PARKROYAL Melbourne Airport offers bookings for day-use rooms between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm daily. Book for three-, five-, or eight hours and have access to all of the hotel’s facilities, including free WiFi.

You can reach the PARKROYAL Hotel within a 3-5 minute walk of T1 (Qantas), T2 (International Terminal), and T3 (Virgin Australia) terminal by a covered walkway. You can be at the hotel within 5-10 minute walk of T4 (low-cost terminal).

Location: Arrival Drive Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine

Check the price → HotelsCombined | Booking.com | Agoda

Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport

Conveniently located only 400 metres distance from the airport terminals, the Holiday Inn offers comfort and convenience for those seeking a budget-friendly Melbourne Airport hotel.

All rooms at the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport are fitted with Queen or Double beds. Rooms come with a refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities. There’s also a spacious desk for those who need to work, flat-screen TV, and an on-site gym & restaurant and bar.

Your trip will be made more convenient when you are picked up or dropped off at the terminal with the free shuttle service to Melbourne Airport (available 24/7), or simply walk!

Real talk: the rooms are okay at the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport, but they are not amazing. They are a little dated and I would personally choose to stay at the (pricer) PARKROYAL, (budget but small) ibis Budget, or the new Hyatt Place Essendon Fields (that’s about 10-minutes away).

All that said, the Holiday Inn offers a superb location on the airport grounds that you can’t beat. Just don’t fall for their expensive prices!

Location: Melbourne Airport, 10/14 Centre Rd, Tullamarine

Check the price → HotelsCombined | Booking.com | Agoda

ibis Budget Melbourne Airport - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport
ibis Budget Melbourne Airport – The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

ibis Budget Melbourne Airport

If you are looking for a convenient, comfortable but cheap hotel near Melbourne Airport, this one is for you!

The ibis Budget Melbourne Airport is within walking distance of the Qantas terminal (less than 400 metres!), and a short walk to the other terminals at Melbourne Airport.

Comfortable beds will great weary travellers with either queen or double beds and a private ensuite with shower. There are also rooms with two single beds and a bunk bed for when you are travelling with family or friends. Day rooms are available.

For those travelling on business, the full-size desk and high-speed free WiFi will keep you connected and on track to deliver any project.

Continental breakfast is served every morning and there are vending machines on-site. It’s also a short walk to the nearby BP petrol (gas) station and adjacent McDonalds if you need a late-night snack.

This is the perfect hotel for early morning flights when you don’t want to spend a fortune!

Location: Caldwell Drive Melbourne Airport, Tullamarine

Check the price → HotelsCombined | Booking.com | Agoda

Mantra Tullamarine Melbourne Airport - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Mantra Tullamarine

Whether you’re flying in or flying out, Mantra Tullamarine Hotel is the perfect stopover hotel for travellers seeking a comfortable, modern hotel that’s fuss-free.

Located just four minutes away from Melbourne Airport, the Mantra Tullamarine has a range of contemporary designed room types, including studios and suites. They also offer interconnecting suites for those travelling with family or friends. All rooms come with WiFi, cable TV, and plenty of space to move.

Come summer or winter, unwind as you enjoy the indoor heated lap pool, spa and fully equipped gym. Best of all there is a free hotel shuttle bus to Melbourne Airport that is available on-demand!

Location: 2 Trade Park Dr, Tullamarine

Check the price → HotelsCombined | Booking.com | Agoda

Hyatt Place Essendon Fields - The Best Hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport

Hyatt Place Essendon Fields

Forget the hotels at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport, the newest hotel near Melbourne Airport is the Hyatt Place Essendon Fields.

This classy hotel provides a convenient location just 10 minutes from the airport for travellers to relax and unwind, but still remain close to city amenities.

With four room types featuring King and Queen beds, you are sure to find your perfect room. Plush beds will welcome you with luxe throughout the room and bathroom. If a room with a view if something you seek, be sure to ask for a room with City Views!

Be sure to take advantage of the free WiFi, fitness centre, and onsite restaurant and bar during your stay. They also offer a free hotel shuttle to Melbourne Airport for guests.

One of the benefits of staying at Hyatt Place Essendon Fields is the proximity to the Australian Conference Centre and the Essendon DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) shopping mall. Here there are shops, dining, and convenient connections to take you to Melbourne’s city centre.

Location: 1 English St, Essendon Fields

Check the price → HotelsCombined | Booking.com | Agoda


Planning a trip to Melbourne?
Read these first!

What to do in Melbourne: The Ultimate Guide!

Explore Melbourne on a Budget

3 Camberwell Brunch Spots I’m Loving

Explore Melbourne neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood!


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World’s Busiest Airline Flight Routes

Which flight routes do you think are the busiest? If you said New York City to London (like I did) you’d be wrong.

Last week OAG Aviation revealed the list of the busiest flight routes in the world. This report showed some fascinating data, such as that 15 of the world’s top 20 busiest flight routes are found in Asia and that one Australian flight route is still the second busiest flight route in the world with around 148 flights each day!

There were plenty of other interesting facts such as that the world’s busiest international flight route is also one of the shortest at just 296km. The world’s busiest domestic flight route is nearly double the length at 451km.

You can read the full report here or read on to find out the top 20 busiest flight routes in the world!

World’s 10 busiest air routes

  1. Jeju – Seoul, South Korea – 79,460
  2. Melbourne – Sydney, Australia – 54,102
  3. Mumbai – Delhi, India – 45,188
  4. São Paulo – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 39,747
  5. Fukuoka – Tokyo, Japan – 39,406
  6. Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – 39,291
  7. Sapporo – Tokyo, Japan – 39,271
  8. Jakarta – Surubaya, Indonesia – 37,762
  9. Los Angeles – San Francisco, USA – 35,365
  10. Jeddah – Riyadh, Saudia Arabia – 35,149

World’s busiest international air routes

  1. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore – 30,187 flights
  2. Hong Kong – Taipei – 28,447
  3. Jakarta – Singapore – 27,046
  4. Hong Kong – Shanghai Pudong – 20,678
  5. Jakarta – Kuala Lumpur – 19,741
  6. Seoul – Osaka – 19,711
  7. New York La Guadia – Toronto – 17,038
  8. Hong Kong – Seoul – 15,770
  9. Bangkok – Singapore – 14,698
  10. Dubai – Kuwait – 14,581

Let me know in the comments below:

Which of the world’s busiest flight routes have you flown on?