Sydney Airport reports good traffic for June

CEO calls for slot rules to be revised

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Western Sydney Airport
(PHOTO: Western Sydney Airport)

Aviation FestivalA total of 3.06 million passengers passed through Sydney Airport in June 2023, representing an 89.9% recovery compared to pre-pandemic June 2019. Passenger traffic at Sydney Airport’s T1 international terminal is continuing to grow with 1.16 million travellers passing through in June. That’s almost half a million more passengers than last June and represents an 88.8% recovery rate on June 2019. Domestic passenger traffic increased 1.2% year-on-year to 1.90 million travellers in June. This represents an 90.6% recovery rate compared to June 2019.

June month table 3

June 12 month graph

China visitor numbers continue to surge
The number of Chinese visitors continues to surge as the seven airlines flying between Sydney to mainland China increase capacity. For the third month in a row, Chinese nationals have ranked third in the top 10 nationalities travelling through Sydney Airport, with the June number representing a 69% recovery rate on pre-pandemic June 2019 passengers. This is a significant jump from May, when the recovery rate was 54% and a strong result considering at the start of the year Chinese visitor numbers were just 22% recovered.

June nationality table 2

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said: “International passenger numbers are now closing in on pre-pandemic levels with strong demand on the mainland China route helping drive the recovery. To see the Chinese visitor market 69 per cent recovered within six months of the border reopening is a phenomenal result. “As demand grows, the seven Chinese carriers operating out of Sydney are continuing to add capacity, with 51 return services now flying weekly. The international passenger recovery is now close to surpassing the domestic recovery, which has remained largely stagnant over the last year.

“While June domestic passenger numbers were almost on par with June last year, international traffic is gaining momentum and was up 66.7 per cent. Steep airfares and high cancellation rates on popular domestic routes are suppressing demand,” Culbert said. “In the 12 months to June, passenger numbers on the Sydney to Melbourne route were just 81 per cent recovered compared to pre-pandemic levels, while numbers between Sydney and Canberra were only 64 per cent recovered. It will be interesting to see if this is a long-term trend. If incumbent airlines have decided to fly less between key domestic markets, then they should relinquish slots to domestic and international carriers who want to operate out of Sydney Airport and provide more choice for customers.”

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