australian aviation logo

Sydney continues strong international recovery as holidays near

written by Jake Nelson | November 23, 2023

International airlines at Sydney Airport. (Image: Seth Jaworski)

Sydney Airport has doubled its international traffic in the last year as its post-pandemic recovery continues.

In October 1.3 million passengers passed through the international terminal, representing a 90.3 per cent recovery on October 2019. In the 2023 year to date, Sydney has seen 11.79 million international passengers, compared to 6.1 million at the same point in 2022.

Australians going overseas were 95 per cent recovered on October 2019, while New Zealanders comprised the largest cohort of overseas passport holders, though the recovery rate dipped from 99 per cent in September to 90 per cent in October.

China and the US represented the second and third largest groups of overseas visitors, while South Korean passport holders were up 45 per cent on October 2019, and have been consistently above pre-pandemic levels since April.

“In the 12 months to October, almost 14 million passengers have passed through our international terminal, more than double the number we saw in the previous 12 months,” said Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert.


“We continue to see markets roaring back to life. In the run up to Christmas there is extra capacity coming on across several key overseas destinations including China, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam. This is great for passengers who will have more choice this Christmas than any holiday period since 2019.”

Sydney also saw 2.19 million domestic passengers in October 2023, 86.0 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. In total, 3.48 million passengers used Sydney Airport last month, representing an 87.6 per cent recovery on October 2019.

Culbert has consistently blamed alleged slot hoarding by the major airlines as a reason for the airport’s sluggish domestic recovery, an accusation Qantas and Virgin have vehemently denied.

You need to be a member to post comments. Become a member today!

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.