Sydney Airport passenger traffic forecast and May 2022 performance

Tuesday 21 June 2022

More than two million passengers to take flight during July school holidays

• 2.1 million passengers forecast to pass through Sydney Airport during July school holiday period

• Forecast includes more than 1.5 million domestic passengers and 560,000 international passengers

• In May 2022 total passenger traffic recovered to 69% of pre-COVID levels

Sydney Airport is set for a busy July school holiday period, with forecasts showing 2.1 million passengers will be welcomed from Monday 27 June to Sunday 17 July, a period which accounts for both NSW public and private school holidays.

By contrast, 1.8 million passengers came through Sydney Airport during the equivalent 21-day school holiday period in April, from Monday 4 April to Sunday 24 April.

The July school holiday forecast indicates more than 1.5 million domestic passengers will pass through the terminals over three weeks from Monday 27 June, compared to 1.39 million from the 4th to 24th of April.

Internationally, more than 560,000 passengers are forecast for the July school holidays, compared to 376,000 international passengers during the equivalent three-week period in April.

Sydney Airport has today also released its passenger traffic performance for May, showing total passenger traffic recovering to 69% of pre-COVID levels.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “Our forecast shows the July school holidays are going to be even busier than what we saw in April.

“It’s terrific to see the ongoing demand for air travel but we won’t sugar-coat the fact that the terminals will be busy during the school holidays, and there will be queues.

“We are doing everything we can to get people on their way, including bringing an additional 60 customer service staff into the terminals every day to help manage queues and bring passengers forward in order of flight priority.

“The root cause of these challenges is that every business at the airport is rebuilding its workforce and doing it in the tightest jobs market in nearly half a century.

“We want to thank passengers in advance for their patience and reassure them that if they get to the airport at the advised time, we will be doing our utmost to get everyone on their flight.”

Sydney Airport has implemented a number of initiatives to help manage the July school holiday peak including:

• Deploying an additional 60 customer service staff every day during the peak, specifically to manage queues and bring passengers forward in order of flight priority;

• Reconfiguring the queuing systems across all terminals;

• Introducing a priority security screening lane at T1 International, to prioritise passengers with imminent departures and those in premium cabins;

• Overhauling terminal signage to help guide passengers and assist with passenger flow;

• Activating an alternate domestic taxi drop off area, to reduce vehicle traffic on the domestic departures roadway between 4:00am and 7:00am, and;

• Hosting a Jobs Fair with more than 40 of the airport’s largest employers to help address ongoing staff shortages.

Passengers should arrive early, but not too early

The advice for passengers is to arrive as close as possible to two hours prior to departure for domestic flights, and as close as possible to three hours prior for international flights, unless advised otherwise by their airline.

Greg Hay, Sydney Airport General Manager of Operations said: “It’s great that passengers are arriving well ahead of their flights, but it’s important to arrive as close as possible to the advised times, and not any earlier.

“Some domestic airlines do not open baggage check-in until two hours prior and if you get to the airport too early you could end up having an additional wait.

“During the holidays, we are expecting Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays to be the peak days for passenger traffic, with Fridays in particular predicted to be heavy. Across any given day early-to-mid morning will be busy, with passenger numbers easing late morning and into the afternoon before peaking again in the evening.”

Passenger traffic continued its recovery in May

Total passenger traffic in May 2022 was 2,415,000 passengers, down 31.2% on the corresponding period in 2019.

Domestic passenger traffic totalled 1,832,651 in May 2022, down 17.3% on the corresponding period in 2019.

582,442 international passengers passed through Sydney Airport in May 2022, down 55% on the corresponding period in 2019.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “The May passenger traffic data confirms the ongoing recovery of Australian aviation, which is a relief to everyone in the industry.

“Our continued focus will be on meeting this demand and getting passengers on their way safely.”

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1 Due to data availability, all international passenger numbers (including prior corresponding period comparisons) are based on Confirmed Airline Passenger (CAP) data. As per previous information releases, these figures may contain estimates with any adjustments to preliminary statistics included in the year-to-date results in future months
2 Includes Domestic-on-Carriage