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
Slogan Airport. Express
Parent Catalyst Direct Capital Management
OPTrust Private Markets Group
Founded June 1978 (1978-06)
Headquarters Melbourne Airport
Service area Melbourne, Australia
Auckland, New Zealand
Service type Airport bus
Destinations Melbourne Airport
Avalon Airport
Southern Cross railway station
St Kilda
Mornington Peninsula
Auckland Airport
Mount Roskill
Mount Eden
Auckland CBD
Fleet Melbourne: 71 (June 2017)
Auckland: 30 (August 2017)
Annual ridership Melbourne: 1.6 million (June 2008)
Chief executive Simon Cowen

Skybus is an airport bus service operating in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. In Melbourne, Skybus operates on multiple routes, the primary one being between Melbourne Airport and Southern Cross railway station. In Auckland, Skybus operates between Auckland Airport and the Auckland CBD.

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


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. 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.[2]

A one-way adult ticket costs $19. Up to four children between 4 and 16 years old, inclusive, are permitted to travel free with an adult ticket. Thereafter, or if travelling alone, a child ticket costs $9.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

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 monthly timetable, with one service connecting to every flight departing and arriving at Avalon Airport.


Skybus commenced operations on 6 June 1978, running a shuttle service between Melbourne Airport and Melbourne City Centre. On 2 August 1982, Skybus took over the airport bus services run by the now-defunct airlines Ansett and TAA.[6][7]

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.[8]

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.[9] The operation has an audited revenue share arrangement with the Victorian Government.[10] P 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.[11]

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.[5] 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.[12]

In 2015, Skybus purchased the Auckland Airport service in New Zealand from Johnston's Coachlines.[13]

In June 2016, Skybus commenced operating to Frankston with the purchase of the Frankston & Peninsula Airport Shuttle.[14][15] In December 2016, it was announced that Skybus would also take over the route between Southern Cross station and Avalon Airport previously run by Sita Buslines.[16]

In July 2017, Skybus began operating the Geelong to Avalon Airport service after the previous owners, Murrel Group, lost their accreditation to enter the airport.[17]


As at June 2017, the combined fleets consisted of 101 buses.[7][18]


  1. ^ Skybus: Representing Melbourne’s travel and tourism industry into the future[dead link] Victorian Competition & Efficiency Commission
  2. ^ "Melbourne City Express timetable". SkyBus. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  3. ^ "Melbourne City Express fares". SkyBus. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Airport buses". Public Transport Victoria. Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "Victorian Buses in the eighties" Australian Bus Panorama issue 6/2 September 1990 page 13
  7. ^ a b Skybus Australian Bus Fleet Lists
  8. ^ New Home For Skybus At Spencer Street Station Government of Victoria 6 November 2000
  9. ^ Better buses replace dumped rail link The Age 12 June 2002
  10. ^ Train derailed by buck-passing and vested interests The Age 26 June 2010
  11. ^ Brumby Government Signs New Five Year for Skybus (sic) Premier of Victoria 26 August 2008
  12. ^ OPTrust, Catalyst acquire Australia’s SkyBus AltAssets 8 September 2014
  13. ^ Faster airport bus trips on cards New Zealand Herald 31 October 2015
  14. ^ Skybus adds new Frankston to Melbourne Airport route ETB Travel News 7 June 2016
  15. ^ More Airport Services Australasian Bus & Coach 7 June 2016
  16. ^ Skybus arrives at Avalon Airport Government of Victoria 16 December 2016
  17. ^ Geelong-Avalon Airport shuttle bus service replaced by SkyBus Geelong Advertiser 9 July 2017
  18. ^ Skybus Auckland Australian Bus Fleet Lists

External links[edit]

Media related to Skybus Super Shuttle at Wikimedia Commons