A 10-year-old girl from Sydney’s Blue Mountains has become the one billionth passenger to pass through Sydney Airport.
Katinka arrived in Sydney on Thursday morning on Singapore Airlines flight SQ231 with her mother Sara and five-year-old brother Andy.
The family, which began its trip home from Amsterdam, were upgraded to business class for the Singapore to Sydney leg and were taken on a tour of the A380 flight deck by Captain Kimsong Chew after the aircraft landed.
The trio also received four Singapore Airlines economy class tickets from Sydney to anywhere the airline flies to around the world, as well as a gift hamper from Sydney Airport’s duty-free partner Heinemann Tax & Duty Free.
There was also a “one in a billion” cake served to the family on the flight to Sydney, and another cake on the ground at the arrivals hall.
Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert noted it had taken 100 years to reach the one billion passenger milestone, given the airport was celebrating its centenary in 2019.
However, it would take only 20 years for Sydney Airport to welcome its two billionth passenger.
“It’s an exciting milestone to celebrate in our centenary year,” Culbert said in a statement on Thursday.
“100 years ago, our first commercial passenger arrived in the back of a two-seat bi-plane, landing on a dusty bullock paddock. Today, we’re celebrating our billionth passenger who arrived courtesy of an A380 carrying nearly 450 people – the progress in aviation over the past 100 years is incredible.
“Air travel has never been easier or more accessible – our billionth passenger has probably flown more in her first 10 years than I did in my first 30, and more than my parent’s generation likely did in their entire lives.”
Singapore Airlines regional vice president Philip Goh said the airline was honoured to have helped Sydney Airport celebrate the historic milestone on one of its oldest routes.
Further, Goh noted the airline has been serving Sydney for 52 years and currently carried about 700,000 people a year into and out of the New South Wales capital.
“Australia has played an important role in our global network and Sydney has always been a key part of our operations in Australia,” Mr Goh added.
“Whether being the destination to launch new products, aircraft, flights, or to support the launch of new destinations in the South West Pacific region, Sydney has been great, and we have enjoyed a strong relationship with Sydney Airport who have supported us for more than five decades.
“We wish Sydney Airport a very happy 100th anniversary and look forward to sharing many more historic milestones with them in the future.”
— Sydney Airport ✈️ (@SydneyAirport) September 5, 2019