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  • As major airlines slash flights to battle the coronavirus, Sydney Airport’s (SYD) foot traffic has taken a hit
  • Management revealed on Tuesday that February saw a 9.3 per cent slump in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year
  • As expected, international passengers alone decreased a whopping 16.8 per cent
  • Chief Executive Geoff Culbert says the airport will commit to investing in jobs and business to battle the bumpy economy
  • Sydney Airport shares are down 1.74 per cent today, trading for $6.51 each

As coronavirus woes continue to ravage global markets, airlines around the world have taken a hit. While Qantas, Virgin, and Air New Zealand have slashed flights, Sydney Airport (SYD) has reported a 9.3 per cent decline in passengers compared to last year.

In February of last year, the airport saw 2,081 domestic passengers come through its gates. This February just-passed saw 1,987 — a decrease of 4.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, international passengers dropped a whopping 16.8 per cent. Continuing at this rate, the airport will see 4.6 per cent fewer passengers throughout 2020.

“Our primary focus remains the health and safety of everyone at the airport, and to keep the airport open and operating,” Chief Executive Geoff Culbert said.

“We have detailed continuity plans that give us confidence that we can work through the challenges posed by any potential escalation of the Coronavirus outbreak, and our balance sheet and liquidity positions remain strong,” Geoff continued.

“Our recent bond issue fully refreshes our $1.4 billion of available bank facilities,” he concluded.

Covid-19 began its spread through China, with nearby Asian countries absorbing a blow to business, tourism, and travel industries. While the virus has turned up elsewhere around the globe, parts of China are still in lockdown.

In Sydney Airport, Chinese traffic dropped a massive 72.4 per cent in February, compared to 2019. Additionally, traffic from South Korea has dropped 34 per cent.

Despite the drop, Chinese visitors are still the fifth-largest demographic among Sydney Airport’s passengers. Australian domestic passengers continue to rank number one, while France comes in at last place.

“There is a direct link between passenger arrivals and departures and our aeronautical revenues, so we share the pain of every flight cancellation,” Geoff added.

“Everyone in the aviation and tourism industry is hurting and we are in discussions with all of our partners about the best way to support each other during this period.”

Sydney Airport shares are down 1.74 per cent this morning, trading for $6.51 each at 11:32 am AEDT.

SYD by the numbers
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