Sydney airport plans to drive future growth in its international passenger numbers through adding connections to secondary Chinese cities and attracting more flights from low-cost carriers.
In an investor presentation, the airport says capacity to China has more than doubled over the past 10 years and is expected to grow by 16% between 2013 and 2014.
The airport now serves five mainland Chinese cities – Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Chongqing and Guangzhou – but it would also like to see more direct services from fast-growing secondary cities in the country.
It identifies Wuhan, Kunming, Chengdu, Qingdao, Fuzhou and Xiamen as cities with the best potential for new direct services.
The launching of those services, however, is constrained by the bilateral air services agreement between China and Australia.
More broadly, the airport says that bilateral constraints are “blocking significant growth from non-Australian carriers”.
It also named Hong Kong, the Philippines, Qatar, Fiji, Malaysia and Turkey as markets where demand was being held back by restrictive bilateral agreements.
The airport says it is working with the Australian and other governments to provide more capacity for foreign carriers in those markets.
With the addition of flights from Scoot and AirAsia X in recent years, Sydney airport says it is now the largest international LCC airport in Australia.
Nevertheless, it sees that there “remains significant potential for future LCC growth” and will target those long-haul LCCs that are adding more widebody aircraft to their fleets.