Sydney airport expects more growth in passengers from China, and will also prioritise attracting more carriers from India.
Speaking during the airport’s annual general meeting, chief executive Geoff Culbert says that over the past ten years, the number of Chinese travellers using the airport trebled to 600,000, while the number of routes to China went from three to 17.
He adds that only around 8% of China’s 1.3 billion population hold a passport, but that is expected to grow to around 20% in the next few years.
“That’s another 150 million people who want to travel, and Sydney is on their wish list. The China Story has a long, long way to go,” says Culbert.
India is the other big market for the airport, although FlightGlobal schedules show that, at present, there is only one non-stop route from Sydney – a five-times weekly operation to Delhi by Air India.
“India will be a priority,” says Culbert. “I was there last week meeting with airlines and I am confident we can attract more direct services.”
Further out, the airport is also looking to the longer-ranging capability of the Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 to open new nonstop routes to cities in Africa, the Americas and Europe.
“We will be able to reach the entire population of the world in a single flight,” he adds.
To capture that growth, Sydney airport plans to invest over A$1 billion ($757 million) to enhance the efficiency and productivity of its facility.