Sydney Airport has released a statement outlining its performance in the first quarter of 2024, which has revealed a strong start to the year with 10.3 million passengers passing through the terminals in Q1. 

This represents a 14.4 per cent increase in passenger traffic during the same period in 2023 and a 93.7 per cent recovery compared to Q1 of 2019.

Sydney Airport’s T1 international terminal saw 4.16 million passengers pass through in Q1, a 25.1 per cent increase on the same period in 2023 and a 96.6 per cent recovery rate on Q1 of 2019.

Domestic and regional passenger traffic was up 8.2 per cent compared to Q1 of 2023, with 6.16 million passengers coming through the T2 and T3 domestic terminals, showing a 91.9 per cent recovery rate on Q1 of 2019.

During Q1, travellers on Australian passports grew 3.1 per cent compared to Q1 2019, with the number of passengers from New Zealand, South Korea, India and the Philippines also above 2019 levels.

The airport reported that, operationally, it also performed strongly over the period delivering a positive experience for passengers travelling through the airport.

To deliver greater transparency on operations at the airport, a live feed of security wait times was launched during the quarter on Sydney Airport’s website with data refreshed every 60 seconds. Passengers can now check the website ahead of travel to understand how the security wait times are progressing within each terminal, delivering a better passenger experience. 

Throughout Q1, 100 per cent of domestic passengers and 99.9 per cent of international passengers passed through security in less than ten minutes. At the T2 and T3 Domestic terminals, 92.6 per cent of passengers departed on time for their flight during the first wave of departures, with 83.6 per cent of passengers departing on time for international services.

Traffic across the precinct flowed well, with minimal wait times for taxis at all terminals, while at the international terminal there were only five instances throughout Q1 when drop-off times briefly rose above ten minutes.

Sydney Airport CEO, Scott Charlton, said that the strong start to the year sets a positive trajectory for the airport’s growth.

“It took us 100 years to reach our first billion passengers, from 1919 to 2019. We’re forecast to hit two billion within the next 20 years, and we’ll get there by working closely with our airline partners, improving our operational performance and unlocking capacity through targeted investments,” Mr Charlton said.

“The Q1 passenger data shows us that on the domestic front, higher airfares, lack of capacity and a downturn in discretionary business travel has affected demand. This is contrasted with relatively higher seat capacity and competition on major international routes which underpinned strong international passenger volumes for the quarter.

“In terms of our operational performance, we’re focused on efficiency and delivering a seamless experience for all stakeholders, on-airport partners, and most importantly, passengers.

Mr Charlton said that the airport had a strong Easter peak, with passengers through security in under ten minutes. 

“We’re pleased to now showcase security wait times on our website for the first time as we understand getting through security quickly and seamlessly is important for passengers.

“Performance levels through Q1 were strong across security throughput, on time departures and traffic flowed well in and out of the precinct.

“We’re going to continue to be more transparent with our operational metrics as we move through the year, as well as working with airlines to deliver extra seat capacity and secure new services as we grow the airport’s capacity.”

Image credit: SethJaworski/

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