The surge of World Youth Day pilgrims helped Sydney Airport set a record for the busiest ever international arrivals day.
The airport’s CEO Russell Balding said a total 20,398 passengers arrived through its international terminal on July 13, contributing to Sydney’s success as the host city for major events.
“Sydney Airport’s performance during Worth Youth Day was outstanding. We made sure that visitors could arrive and depart from Sydney without any fuss,” Mr Balding said.
“Whether it is the 2000 Olympics, the 2003 Rugby World Cup, APEC in 2007…Sydney Airport has shown that it has the capacity, aviation infrastructure and highly skilled staff to deliver major events.”
With the help of pilgrims, the total number of passengers for July increased by 6 per cent compared to last year to 2.926 million. International passengers showed a larger increase of 7.5 per cent, making the month the fourth busiest month on record for overseas passengers.
Mr Balding said despite high fuel prices hitting the aviation industry hard, international airlines, including Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Etihad and Philippine Airlines, continue to expand their Sydney-bound services.
“Both consumers and businesses will benefit from the extra international seating capacity. Making it easier for people to get to Sydney is good news for our important tourism sector,” he said.
As over 80% of airfreight travels on passenger aircraft, the additional flights also mean significantly increased air cargo capacity for importers and exporters.