Sydney Airport Slaps Down Cash To Lure Back Airlines

The Sydney-based New South Wales Government announced a US$398 million (FJ$823) fund to reboot tourism.
22 Oct 2021 09:30
Sydney Airport Slaps Down Cash To Lure Back Airlines
Fiji Airways A330 at Sydney International Airport.

Sydney Airport is joining forces with the New South Wales Government to lure back airlines with cold hard cash.

The airport and government are tipping in US$45 million (FJ$93 million) each to incentivise airlines to return with tasty treats like flight subsidies.

“18 international airlines have completely stopped flying to Sydney,” says Sydney Airport chief executive officer, Geoff Culbert.

“We welcomed nearly 17 million international passengers in 2019, and this year we will welcome less than three per cent of that, levels not seen since the 1960s.”


$90 Million To Get Flights Back To Sydney
The Sydney-based New South Wales Government announced a US$398 million (FJ$823) fund to reboot tourism.

This includes US$45 million (FJ$93 million) for an Aviation Attraction Fund to encourage international airlines to re-commence flights to Sydney.

The city’s airport quickly matched the offer.

Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres says for Sydney’s visitor economy to reach its full potential, airlines need to come back.


British Airways, Air India, Samoa Airlines, LATAM, Beijing Capital Airlines, Sichuan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Batik Air Indonesia, Malindo Air, Samoa Airlines, and Air Canada are among the airlines that have stopped passenger flights to Sydney.

“Sydney is the jewel in Australia’s tourism crown, and the NSW Government’s tourism package ensures that we can compete with other global destinations as they rebuild their post-COVID economies,” says Mr Culbert.

A recent Skyscanner report revealed Sydney to be the third most underserved destination in the world.


Sydney Airport Readies For A Return To Form
New South Wales is now setting the pace in Australia when it comes to re-opening.

On November 1, the state is dropping all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travelers no matter where they come from.

The state is also dropping current caps on passenger arrivals.

At this stage, New South Wales is the only one of Australia’s eight states and territories to do so.


“We should not be arrogant enough to think that just because we’ve reopened the border, or we’ve removed quarantine, that every commercial operator around the world is just going to come back to Australia,” Mr Ayres said.

On passenger numbers, Sydney Airport is easily Australia’s biggest.

In calendar 2019, the last year of clear flying for Sydney Airport, 44.4 million passengers moved through the airport.

The Sydney Airport precinct normally employs more than 29,000 people and generates 306,700 jobs across Sydney.

The airport says its operations normally contribute around US$22.5 billion to the New South Wales economy.


Airports Are Suffering Says Industry Boss
James Goodwin, the Australian Airports Association CEO, says COVID-19 has been devastating for airports and their employees.

“We need to say to the rest of the world that we are open,” he said.

“That’s going to mean that those international airlines will schedule Australia as a destination, but there is not enough confidence in the sector at the moment.”


“We don’t think this first wave of travel will be leisure.”

“It will be people visiting family and friends, and also essential business travel.”

Mr Goodwin says he takes some confidence from the New South Wales Government leading the way on border re-openings, dropping quarantine requirements and visitor arrival caps.



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