Tigerair Australia chief executive Rob Sharp believes there is enough demand in Western Sydney for the proposed airport at Badgerys Creek and the low-cost carrier is keen to fly there.
Sharp says Tigerair supports a second airport being built in Sydney.
“At the end of the day it is not the airport that attracts us, it is the underlying demand,” Sharp told the CAPA Australia Pacific aviation summit on Wednesday, in response to a question.
“We believe there is actually quite a strong demand in the western parts of Sydney and there is growth there.
“It makes sense ultimately to have an airport there and we will support that and we will fly to that demand.”
The Commonwealth and the owners of Kingsford-Smith Airport have begun discussions over the size and layout of a proposed second Sydney airport, a Senate estimates hearing heard in May.
When the federal government sold Sydney Airport in 2002, it included a 30-year first right of refusal to build and operate any second airport built within 100km of the existing terminals at Mascot. Under that provision the federal government is required to offer a formal consultation period with Sydney Airport’s owners of not less than five months and not longer than 12 months.
Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said the low-cost carrier was a fan of secondary airports, given it operated to Avalon just outside Geelong in Victoria as well as the Gold Coast in south-east Queensland.
Hall said Jetstar was evaluating what role Badgerys Creek might play in the airline’s Australian network.
“I think it offers a value proposition and once we work through about the size and so forth we will look at what is best for our customer base,” Hall said.
Hall said opening new routes needed to be done on a sustainable basis, with enough demand for all those seats being flown.
“When you launch a new route there has got to be that support – support from tourism, support from the airports, support from governments – to be able to underpin it,” Hall told the CAPA Australia Pacific summit.
“It is a big investment to launch a new route.”