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Traffic recovery gathering pace at Sydney Airport


A total of 3.37 million passengers passed through Sydney Airport in September 2023, representing a 92.3% recovery compared to pre-pandemic September 2019 and the strongest post-COVID traffic recovery rate to date.

Sydney Airport’s T1 international terminal saw 1.27 million passengers pass through in September, a 93.1% recovery compared to September 2019.

Domestic passenger traffic was 91.7% recovered, with 2.10 million passengers coming through the T2 and T3 domestic terminals.

Aussies flock overseas as Chinese visitor numbers continue to rise

The number of Australian passport holders flying internationally in September was just 1% lower than pre-pandemic levels, which is the strongest recovery since the border reopened.

Trans-Tasman travel was popular, especially during the school holiday period, with the number of New Zealand passport holders travelling through Sydney Airport just 1% below September 2019 numbers.

The China recovery continued to gain momentum in September, with the number of Chinese passport holders 78% recovered, up from 67% in August.

South Korean visitor numbers continued to rise, increasing 48% above September 2019 levels, while the number of Vietnamese passport holders travelling through Sydney Airport was up 33%.

Sydney Airport CEO, Geoff Culbert, said: “We are now within touching distance of pre-pandemic passenger traffic. Our international recovery continues to push ahead, eclipsing the domestic recovery for the third month in a row.

“Increased capacity from China, boosted by the return of group travel, and a big jump in trans-Tasman travel over the school holiday period helped the airport record its strongest international passenger traffic since the border reopened.

“Seat supply continues to be the lead indicator of market recovery. Pleasingly, we continue to see strong demand from international markets where capacity has returned to, or is above, pre-COVID levels.

“However, where seat supply is still lagging well behind 2019 levels, market recovery is tracking with seat supply. This includes some key markets like the Middle East, North America, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

“Domestically, we continue to see reduced seat supply across Sydney Airport’s busiest routes, which is reflected in the domestic recovery lagging international.”

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