Melbourne International Airport MEL serves south-east Australia's State of Victoria and its cpital city of Melbourne. It is the only international airport among the greater Melbourne metropolitan area's four airports. It is also Australia’s second-busiest airport and a hub for Qantas & Virgin Blue. Skytrax has awarded Melbourne Airport four stars. Recently, travel to/from Asia has considerably increased, and new routes & airlines were added.
Melbourne Airport is located on the Tullamarine Freeway - 25 km from the City center of Melbourne - accessible either by taking the toll-free Western Ring Road, or obtaining a CityLink pass to the Tullamarine Freeway. The new direct route, coming from the West, is the 3.3 km, 4-lane divided Airport Drive providing a second major entry to the Airport - linking it directly to the M80 Ring Road and easing congestion.
With two runways and 34.6M passengers in 2016, Melbourne Airport is served by a host of national and international airlines offering direct and connecting flights to all parts of the globe.
Virgin Australia in April 2017 started flights to Los Angles LAX - departing at 11:30am; and arriving on same day at LAS at 9am. . (Duriing 2016, over half a million passengers traveled beween Melbourne & Los Angeles).
International pasengers need to arrive at the airport three hours prior to scheduled flight (domestic travelers need only be there one hour before departure).
On-Airport Hotels at Melbourne Airport:
- The Hilton Melbourne Airport Hotel (tel. +613 8336 2000 /fax 2001), connected by covered walkways to Domestic & International terminals;
- The Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport (tel. +61 3 9330 3230), within 400 meters of the terminal complex;.
- The Hotel Formule 1 (tel. +61 3 8336 1811), a five-minute walk to the terminals.
- Apartment Hotel by Quest, located at the Airport's business precinct (corner of South Center Rd / Annandale Rd.).
Melbourne International Airport has 4 passenger terminals - domestic T1, T3 & new T4, international T2, and 'old' budget /domestic T4.
If you pick up a passenger at Melbourne Airport, you can use the free 'Ring & Ride Waiting Zone' (Cell phone lot) - free for the first 20 mins, then standard fees aply. Stay with your car until your party has retrieved bags and calls you to be picked up at the curb. This lot is occupying a designated area within the Long-term carpark. Enter through 2 long-term carpark gates on Terminal Drive & Center Road, and exit through the long-term lot on to Melrose Drive and the terminal forecourt. The automatic pay station is close to the 'Ring & Ride' zone.
The Sky Bus Express to/from Melbourne City operates 24/7, running every 10 minutes, while to/from St. Kilda operates daily 6am-7pm. A round trip to the City is $38, for childen $18; families with up to 4 chldren pay $37.