Slow growth at Australia’s biggest airport

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July 19, 2019
Sydney airport growth

Traffic at Australia’s biggest airport grew by less than 1 percent in the 2018-19 financial year, providing further evidence of a lack-luster travel market.

Total passenger numbers at Sydney Airport grew by just 0.8 percent —  to 44.35 million — for the year to June 30, hampered by a 0.6 percent fall in domestic passengers.

International passengers for the year were up 3.1 percent but June passenger figures echoed the weakness seen by Melbourne Airport in figures released earlier this week.

READ: Cathay sees mixed fortunes in June.

Sydney’s June domestic passenger figures were down 1.6 percent compared to the same month last year while international numbers grew just 1.1 percent to 1.3 million.

This saw the total passenger numbers for the month down 0.5 percent on last year to a smidgeon over 3.4 million.

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert said domestic passenger numbers were impacted by capacity reductions combined with subdued load factors.

Australian carriers are keeping a tight rein on domestic capacity growth and consumers have also been affected by worries about the nation’s economy and flat wages growth.

On the plus side, Culbert said the top five fastest-growing passenger groups in June — Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, USA and India — all recorded double-digit growth compared to June 2018.

The markets that fell were major Australian tourism source China/Hong Kong (down 1.4 percent) and the United Kingdom (down 1.3 percent).

Another major market, New Zealand, and the Philippines recorded growth below 1 percent, while the number of Australians traveling through Sydney airport increased 0.3 percent.

Melbourne Airport’s weak June passenger figures were also led by a decline in domestic numbers.

Overall passenger numbers for the month were down 1 percent to 2.9 million as domestic passengers dropped 1.4 percent compared to the same month a year ago.

This was compounded by poor international passenger growth of 0.1 percent.

Melbourne’s passenger numbers for the year to June grew by a healthier two percent, to 37.4 million, as a 5.3 percent rise in international passenger numbers boosted soft domestic passenger growth of 0.4 percent.