SYDNEY AIRPORT: AU$120 million ‘war chest’ to secure international flights
The AFR is reporting on a release from Sydney Airport that announced that the Airport will be matching dollar for dollar an NSW Government AU$60 million ‘aviation attraction initiative’
“International aviation is the lifeblood of the tourism sector and the NSW Government’s aviation attraction fund will make sure Sydney is being talked about in airline boardrooms from Doha to Dallas. We welcomed nearly 17 million international passengers in 2019 and this year we will welcome less than 3% of that, levels not seen since the 1960s. 18 international airlines have completely stopped flying to Sydney. Today’s announcement will put us back on the map as Australia’s gateway and accelerate our return to pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic.Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert
International transport concentrated in Sydney during the pandemic as Victoria went into multiple shutdowns, and Brisbane effectively closed its borders. Sydney Airport and the NSW Government look like they want to keep it that way by securing deals with international airlines.
What this actually means is not clear, other than that it will yet again socialise costs, and privatise profits. Taxpayers will pay to secure some of the 18 airlines that abandoned Sydney during the pandemic and to subsidise those that remained flying to keep them landing in Sydney, which they would probably have continued to do anyway.
Lets hope that this at least allows Sydney Airport to resume handling 17 million passengers as it did pre-pandemic, rather than the measly 396,000 it has this year to date.