MELBOURNE, AAP – The number of people flying out of Melbourne Airport annually has plummeted by more than 21 million due to ongoing travel restrictions.

Passenger numbers over the past financial year were similar to those recorded 40 years ago, after the airport recorded a 69 per cent drop in domestic passengers and a 97 per cent decline in international passengers compared to 2019/20.

Further restrictions on travel between states have been imposed in recent weeks due to COVID-19 outbreaks, adding more strain to the aviation industry.

The industry is pushing for state governments to move past border closures and urged the federal government to address vaccine supply issues and vaccine hesitancy.

“The sector has never experienced a deeper or longer crisis than COVID … Vaccination is our only path out of this situation,” Melbourne Airport chief executive Lyell Strambi said.