Skybus Super Shuttle

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Skybus Super Shuttle (logo).svg
Skybus number 65 (5177AO) Scania in Wurundjeri Way, 2013.JPG
Volgren bodied Scania L94UB on Wurundjeri Way in November 2013
SloganAirport. Express
ParentCatalyst Direct Capital Management
OPTrust Private Markets Group
FoundedJune 1978 (1978-06)
HeadquartersMelbourne Airport
Service areaAuckland
Gold Coast
Service typeAirport bus
HubsAuckland Airport
Avalon Airport
Gold Coast Airport
Hobart Airport
Melbourne Airport
Fleet112 (December 2017)
Chief executiveMichael Sewards
Adam Begg
Skybus Super Shuttle Terminal near Southern Cross station

Skybus is an airport bus service operating in Australia in Melbourne, Hobart and on the Gold Coast, and in Auckland, New Zealand.

In Melbourne, Skybus carries over 2 million passengers per year and 8.3% of all Melbourne Airport passengers.[1]


Skybus commenced operations on 6 June 1978, running a shuttle service between Melbourne Airport and the Melbourne city centre. On 2 August 1982, Skybus took over the airport bus services run by the now-defunct airlines Ansett and TAA.[2][3]

Until November 2000, the Melbourne city centre terminus was at a coach depot in Franklin Street. It would pick up passengers at the then Spencer Street station and various city hotels before continuing on to the airport. In November 2000, Skybus relocated to Spencer Street station with services operating express to the airport, cutting the journey time to 20 minutes and allowing more services to be introduced. Connecting minibuses were introduced to continue the hotel transfer/pickup service.[4]

In 2002 the Government of Victoria opted to contribute $3 million to a $10 million plan to expand and improve Skybus services, after a feasibility study into a city to airport rail link found the service would not be viable. The initiative funded the purchase of new buses, and improvements to the Tullamarine Freeway, to give Skybus vehicles priority in traffic.[5] The operation has an audited revenue share arrangement with the Victorian Government.[6]

In August 2008 the Skybus contract was renewed for five years. In 2007 Skybus' patronage grew by 17% over the previous year, to 1.6 million passengers, with estimated revenue of $24 million.[7]

Proposals to improve the bus service involving turning emergency lanes into bus lanes on the freeway and the Bolte Bridge and putting SkyBus on a Myki fare, were challenged by CityLink operator Transurban, because it would limit its toll revenue, and by Melbourne Airport, because it would reduce its car parking profits.[8] Both facilities were privatised in the 1990s.

In September 2014, Skybus was purchased by a consortium that included Catalyst Direct Capital Management and OPTrust Private Markets Group.[9] In 2015, Skybus purchased the Auckland Airport service in New Zealand from Johnston's Coachlines.[10] In June 2016, Skybus commenced operating to Frankston with the purchase of the Frankston & Peninsula Airport Shuttle.[11][12]

In February 2017, Skybus took over the route between Southern Cross station and Avalon Airport previously run by Sita Buslines.[13][14] In July 2017, it began operating the Geelong to Avalon Airport service after the previous owners, Murrel Group, lost their accreditation to enter the airport.[15] In November 2017, operations commenced in Queensland with the purchase of the Gold Coast Tourist Shuttle business from Surfside Buslines.[16]

Services in Australia[edit]

Melbourne City Express[edit]

Skybus's flagship service operates between Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine and Southern Cross railway station on the western edge of the Melbourne city centre, via the Tullamarine Freeway and CityLink, with no intermediate stops. At Melbourne Airport, Skybus stops for pick up and drop off at Terminals 1 and 3, and also picks up at Terminal 4. Terminals 2 and 4 are within walking distance from the Terminal 3 stop.

The service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to a 10-minute frequency between 6:00 am and 12:00 am (midnight), subject to traffic conditions. The service operates to a 30-minute frequency between 1:00 am and 4:30 am, and 15 to 30 minutes at all other times.[17]

SkyBus is not covered under the Myki ticketing system which services the rest of Melbourne's public transport network and does not accept concessions issued by Public Transport Victoria or its operators Skybus now Accepts The issued Victorian Access travel pass and the companions card. [18] Proposals in January 2013 by the Victorian Government to integrate Skybus ticketing with the Myki system were shelved after opposition from Transurban and Melbourne Airport.[8]

Avalon City Express[edit]

The Avalon City Express service operates between Avalon Airport and Southern Cross railway station via the Princes Freeway and West Gate Freeway, making a stop in Werribee. The service operates to a timetable that is adjusted monthly, with one service connecting to every flight departing and arriving at Avalon Airport.

St Kilda Express[edit]

The St Kilda Express service operates between Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport and four designated stops in St Kilda, picking up and setting down passengers at these stops. Airport-bound passengers can also be dropped off at Terminal 1.

The service operates daily, including all public holidays, to a 30-minute frequency on weekdays and hourly on weekends. Operating hours are approximately between 6:30 am and 7:00 pm daily.

Frankston & Peninsula Airport Shuttle[edit]

The Frankston shuttle operates between Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport and Frankston railway station, making intermediate stops in St Kilda, Elsternwick, Elwood, Brighton, Moorabbin, Highett, Cheltenham, Parkdale and Chelsea. A limited number of services extend to Mount Eliza and Mornington, while one weekday-only service continues further to Dromana and Rosebud.

Avalon Geelong Express[edit]

The Avalon Geelong Express service operates between Avalon Airport and South Geelong railway station, with an intermediate stop at Geelong railway station. The service began in July 2017. The service operates to a timetable that is adjusted monthly, with one service connecting to every flight departing and arriving at Avalon Airport.

Southbank Docklands Express[edit]

The Southbank Docklands Express operates between Terminal 4 of Melbourne Airport and four designated stops in Southbank, with an intermediate stop in Docklands.The service began in November 2017, operating to similar frequencies and hours as the St Kilda Express. Fares are identical to that of the Melbourne City Express service.

Gold Coast Airport Services[edit]

In December 2017 Skybus launched airport shuttle services to the Gold Coast Airport from various hotels.[19] From 16 September 2018, services operate into New South Wales when a service from Gold Coast Airport to Byron Bay commenced.[20]

Hobart Airport Services[edit]

In July 2018 Skybus started services between Hobart CBD and Hobart Airport.[21]

Services in New Zealand[edit]

Auckland City Express[edit]

SkyBus bus at its terminus at the Westfield Albany mall

The Auckland City Express operates between Auckland Airport and the SkyBus Lounge in the Auckland CBD, running via the Southwestern Motorway, either Dominion Road or Mount Eden Road, and Queen Street.[22] The service picks up passengers heading to the airport and drops off passengers leaving the airport at designated stops along the route.

North Harbour Express[edit]

These services operate between Auckland Airport and Albany (referred to by SkyBus as Albany Westfield because of the nearby Westfield Albany shopping mall). Services operate via the Northern Busway rapid transit link on the North Shore section of the route (Smales Farm and Akoranga stations are the only busway stops as of June 2019).[23]


As at December 2017, the combined fleets consisted of 112 vehicles.[3][24]


  1. ^ Skybus: Representing Melbourne’s travel and tourism industry into the future Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission
  2. ^ "Victorian Buses in the eighties" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/2 September 1990 page 13
  3. ^ a b Skybus Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  4. ^ "New Home For Skybus At Spencer Street Station". Government of Victoria. 6 November 2000. Archived from the original on 12 October 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2008.
  5. ^ Better buses replace dumped rail link The Age 12 June 2002
  6. ^ Train derailed by buck-passing and vested interests The Age 26 June 2010
  7. ^ Brumby Government Signs New Five Year for Skybus (sic) Premier of Victoria 26 August 2008
  8. ^ a b Carey, Adam (4 January 2013). "SkyBus lane faces fight". Traveller (The Age). Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  9. ^ OPTrust, Catalyst acquire Australia’s SkyBus AltAssets 8 September 2014
  10. ^ Faster airport bus trips on cards New Zealand Herald 31 October 2015
  11. ^ Skybus adds new Frankston to Melbourne Airport route ETB Travel News 7 June 2016
  12. ^ More Airport Services Australasian Bus & Coach 7 June 2016
  13. ^ Skybus arrives at Avalon Airport Government of Victoria 16 December 2016
  14. ^ Skybus adds Southbank service Australasian Bus & Coach 1 November 2017
  15. ^ Geelong-Avalon Airport shuttle bus service replaced by SkyBus Geelong Advertiser 9 July 2017
  16. ^ Skybus acquire GC airport service Australasian Bus & Coach 16 November 2017
  17. ^ "Melbourne City Express timetable". SkyBus. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Airport buses". Public Transport Victoria. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  19. ^ Skybus launches Gold Coast Airport transfer services Economy Traveller
  20. ^ SkyBus to launch Byron Bay airport transfer service Skybus Airport Express 23 August 2018.
  21. ^ SkyBus soars into Hobart Skybus Airport Express 20 June 2018
  22. ^ Public transport - Auckland Airport
  23. ^ "New Skybus North Harbour Airport Service Ready to Go". Scoop Independent News. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  24. ^ Skybus Auckland Australian Bus Fleet Lists

External links[edit]

Media related to Skybus Super Shuttle at Wikimedia Commons