Australia's Sydney Airport sees surge of Chinese passengers in July
SYDNEY, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Sydney Airport said on Monday that its international recovery had overtaken the domestic part for the first time since COVID-19 travel restrictions eased, as a surge of passengers from China boosted international traffic.
According to the airport's monthly update, 1.30 million travelers passed through the international terminal in July, representing an 89.1-percent recovery rate year-on-year, while domestic passenger traffic increased to 2.08 million people, representing an 87-percent recovery rate.
In July, Chinese passengers ranked as the No.1 overseas visitors for the first time since 2019, and the number of Chinese nationals coming through the international terminal represented a 76-percent recovery rate year-on-year, up from 69 percent in June.
"The underlying result on passenger traffic for July is mixed. The headline result for international passengers is encouraging," said Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert, noting the "strong growth" from China, South Korea and India.
However, the growth was offset by lagging markets like the United States and New Zealand.
"The lag is being driven by a lack of seat capacity rather than a lack of demand. Additionally, seats from the Middle East remain well below pre-COVID levels, down 27 percent on July 2019," said Culbert.
He also pointed out that the trend with respect to domestic activity has continued with passenger numbers stagnant over the past 15 months.
"We continue to see evidence of unused slots going to waste, with a persistent mismatch between slots held by domestic airlines and the schedule that is flown," Culbert added.