Airline spend soars with controlled border announcement

11 November 2020

Bankwest data has revealed the financial impact on airlines of the State Government’s announcement to transition from a hard border to a controlled border, with West Australian customer spending soaring.

The data analysed the spending behaviour of West Australian Bankwest MasterCard debit and credit customers to track the impact of the government’s announcement specific to the state.

Tuesday 3 November marked the single largest day in volume and value for WA customer spend on airlines since 25 June, when intrastate tourism boomed due to the freedom of movement and school holidays.

Monday and Tuesday, respectively, are typically the top-two transaction value and volume days for airlines, with the lag in processing meaning Monday reflects weekend purchases.

Airline transaction volume for 2-3 November (that is: Monday and Tuesday immediately following the border announcement) was the largest Monday-Tuesday combination since tracking COVID-19’s impact from 1 April.

The volume of transactions across the two days marked a 76 per cent increase on the pandemic’s Monday-Tuesday average (since 1 April), with the Tuesday 3 November spike 129 per cent up on the Tuesday average.

However, the increase in airline activity did not appear to flow through to other areas of the travel sector, with no noticeable change in turnover for travel agents and tour operators, which remain well below 2019 levels.

Bankwest Chief Customer Officer Paul Vivian said: “The performance of West Australians throughout the pandemic meant we were afforded a freedom of movement internally that was the envy of the nation.

“However, the hard border that enabled us to enjoy those freedoms also created some challenges, be that people separated from friends and family, or the impacts we’ve seen on tourism and travel businesses.

“The spending spike in June shows West Australians were willing to wander out yonder, but these opening days of November also suggest there was a number of people eager to book travel in and out of the state.”

About Bankwest
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