Melbourne has two main airports, namely Avalon Airport close to neighbouring Geelong, and central Melbourne Airport. In the north-west of the city, Melbourne Airport is also often called Tullamarine Airport and is both an international and domestic hub for travellers to this part of Australia.
As the main airport serving South Australia, Melbourne Airport has the airport code MEL and is 22 kilometres north-west of the centre of the city in Tullamarine, a local suburb. Both Qantas and Virgin Australia use the airport as well as low-cost airlines such as Jetstar Airways and Tigerair Australia. The airport has four separate terminals, with Terminal 2 being used for international flights and the other terminals used by different domestic airlines. Popular locations to fly to from Melbourne Airport include the Gold Coast, Hamilton Island, Townsville, Cairns, and Uluru. Internationally, there are regular flights between Melbourne Airport and hubs in Asia such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong, as well as other international destinations such as Los Angeles or Dubai. Inside the airport, travellers will find a huge range of shopping, dining, and entertainment outlets.
There are several ways to reach Melbourne Airport. From the centre of the city, taxis are plentiful in addition to a Skybus and a shuttle bus, although these will both double the travel time of a taxi. The Skybus runs from Southern Cross Station and buses are frequent throughout the day. There are also regular buses to Melbourne Airport available that are operated by Public Transport Victoria although these are also slower than the Skybus or dedicated airport shuttle buses which are operated by Greenbus. Metro Trains Melbourne and V/Line regional also run train services from Southern Cross Station to the airport.
Built in 1970 to service the Melbourne area, Melbourne Airport now runs flights to 33 domestic routes around Australia, and over 30 million passengers use the airport annually. In recent years, Melbourne Airport won the Skytrax award for Best Airport Hotel in the Australia/Pacific region with a reputation for excellence when it comes to domestic or international travel in this part of the world.