China back on top: Sydney Airport reports ‘one of the strongest China recoveries of any international airport’

New South Wales’ international visitor numbers are approaching pre-pandemic levels, according to December figures from Sydney Airport.

The airport’s T1 international terminal welcomed 1.5 million passengers during the last month of 2023 – a 29.4% increase on the same month in 2022, and a 93.3% recovery rate on December 2019.

China was the number one international source market for Sydney Airport, followed by New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom and South Korea. The number of passengers from South Korea and India was also above 2019 levels.

“International passenger volumes have almost fully recovered, and we have experienced one of the strongest China recoveries of any international airport globally with nine airlines flying 89 return-services weekly to mainland China,” said Sydney Airport CEO, Scott Charlton.

“In 2023 we also saw extra international capacity translate into strong passenger volumes in the India and South Korea markets.

“We look forward to growing extra seat capacity and securing new services in 2024 and further cementing our position as Australia’s gateway.”

The airport reported its strongest monthly passenger traffic since 2019 in December 2023, with a total of 3.58 million passengers passing through both the domestic and international terminals – a 90.6% recovery compared to December 2019.

Domestic and regional passenger traffic was up 7.6% on December 2022, with 2.08 million passengers passing through the T2 and T3 domestic terminals.

The strong passenger volumes capped off a year in which more than 38 million passengers passed through the airport’s terminals, just 13% shy of the annual record of 44.4 million passengers set in 2019.

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