Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
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Sydney International Airport
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- Other airports serving Sydney
- Sydney Bankstown Airport
Sydney Camden Airport
- 2530m x 45m
3962m x 45m
2438m x 45m
- Airlines currently operating to this airport with scheduled services
- Air Canada
Air New Zealand
All Nippon Airways
China Eastern Airlines
China Southern Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Indonesia AirAsia X
Polar Air Cargo
Regional Express (Rex)
Tasman Cargo Airlines
- Airlines currently operating to this airport via codeshare
- Aegean Airlines
Air Tahiti Nui
CSA Czech Airlines
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
South African Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways
Formally known as Kingsford Smith Airport, Sydney Airport serves Australia's largest city, Sydney. Hosting domestic, regional and international passenger and cargo services for over 35 airlines, the airport is a major hub for airlines including Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jetstar, QantasLink and Rex. The airport is operated by Sydney Airport Corporation.
Location of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport, Australia
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Ground Handlers and Cargo Handlers servicing Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport
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2,655 total articles
Regional Express welcomes Federal Government decision to continue pricing controls at Sydney Airport
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Virgin Australia's long haul network will double in 2017 as Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles are complemented with daily flights to Beijing and Hong Kong, which Virgin intends to launch from an undisclosed Australian city on 01-Jun-2017. The A330-200 flights help Virgin move widebodies out of the domestic Australian market. The Beijing and Hong Kong flights will be part of an alliance with mainland China's HNA Group, which has announced an investment of 13% in Virgin with the intent of taking it up to 19.99%.
Beijing is the home of the HNA flagship Hainan Airlines, while Hong Kong is home to HNA's Hong Kong Airlines. Restrictions in China and bilateral constraints in Hong Kong mean that the HNA group airlines cannot fly trunk routes. Virgin Australia is free of the restrictions that Hainan Airlines faces in China, and can use the available frequencies for Australian airlines to Hong Kong (Hong Kong-based airlines have exhausted their allocation).
Virgin will however need to secure slots in these opaque markets – Beijing especially. Its partners could help or even give slots, but protective action by competitors should not be underestimated. The focus turns to the commercial arrangement and whether it will be profitable for Virgin. Hong Kong will generate some outbound Australia traffic, but the routes will be heavily sold by HNA – its airlines and travel agency partners. The Hong Kong service will be able to tap into Hong Kong Airlines' mainland China network, with some connections more efficient through Hong Kong than Beijing.
HNA/Hainan Airlines' 13% stake in Virgin Australia for USD114 million expands HNA's equity airline network outside mainland China to nine airlines on five continents – two airlines more than Etihad has invested in. Even once HNA grows the Virgin Australia stake to 19.99%, as it intends, it will not be HNA's largest in equity or percentage; but it is the most momentous and strategically important yet. It is accompanied by a strategic alliance, subject to approval, through which Virgin Australia will fly to mainland China and Hong Kong.
HNA's past investments have either not met their originally anticipated strategic value (Aigle Azur) or are airlines (Africa World, Comair) that do not have HNA services and are unlikely to be significant in the near future. HNA's Virgin stake is different: Australia is China's largest outbound long haul market after the US but Hainan has had a limited presence. Hainan has previously focused on the US market while regulatory constraints (in both mainland China and Hong Kong) and lack of partnerships have restricted growth.
Chinese visitors are reshaping tourism flows and aviation opportunities in many markets. This has been readily apparent in Australia, where China Southern in the space of a few years has become a household name, and Chinese tourists are the second largest visitor source. The next manifestation could be a Chinese airline purchasing the stake in Virgin Australia that Air New Zealand is looking to divest itself of. China Southern and Hainan Airlines are evaluating the opportunity, according to the Australian Financial Review.
China Southern would benefit from a stronger local partner after its previous partner Qantas formed a JV with the rival China Eastern. With every Chinese visitor taking two to three domestic Australian flights, an equity stake could allow the Chinese airline to capture back revenue streams. China Southern could also invest as a defensive move. Hainan serves Australia seasonally and its use of Virgin could be more radical, with an outcome of Virgin flying to mainland China and Hong Kong, accessing routes that Hainan's HNA Group (including Hong Kong Airlines) is unable to serve. Hainan already has an airline investment portfolio but Virgin would be its most significant. For China Southern, a Virgin stake could start state-owned Chinese airlines buying foreign airlines as they seek to be at the centre of most things in the world; including, one day, global consolidation.
The pace of change in Chinese aviation can be daunting. The growth of Chinese airlines in international markets in 2015, one year, was the same as in the previous three years combined. Chinese airlines are growing outside their hubs to have wider coverage. Shanghai's lucrative market has drawn Air China and Hainan Airlines to launch long haul flights.
Now, in a matter of months, Shenzhen in southern China has gone from having no long haul routes to having six air services launched by four airlines during 2016. The Sydney route has already been opened and it could be followed by Auckland, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Melbourne and Seattle – with surely more to come. Shenzhen did not meet an earlier target, but this is an impressive roster, even if mostly backed by handsome subsidies.
The expansion is notable given Shenzhen's underdevelopment in short haul international, let alone long haul. International traffic has flowed to other hubs, notably Hong Kong, which has excelled in becoming an intermodal transport hub by enlarging its catchment area through a network of ferries and coaches. Even as Hong Kong comes under a capacity crunch, it will not want Pearl River Delta traffic to flow back to Shenzhen, even if this is inevitable.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer: over recent years Air New Zealand has transformed its long haul network – and New Zealand's aviation market – by turning one competitor after another into a joint venture partner. Air NZ's latest is a revenue-sharing JV with United Airlines, to come into force on 01-Jul-2016 when United resumes New Zealand services.
The JV follows link-ups between Air NZ and Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Air China. Yet this is not just another JV: Air NZ-United will be the largest, accounting for 25% of Auckland's long haul seat capacity. It will be twice the size of the Air NZ-Singapore Airlines JV. In total, 80% of Air NZ's long haul capacity from NZ will be under JVs, with the balance in monopoly markets.
The market between Australia and the Gulf witnessed significant strategic developments in Mar-2016. Emirates launched a non-stop Dubai-Auckland flight, taking the mantle of world's longest flight. Significantly, Emirates beat Qatar Airways to it. Qatar's public musing in Jan-2016 about opening a Doha-Auckland service prompted Emirates to put on the Auckland flight at short notice: the service was announced a week after Qatar's mention and flown a mere five weeks later.
Qatar was looking to have another oneworld one stop option between Auckland and Europe, as well as looking to boost its presence in the region, where it has significantly lagged Emirates and Etihad. Emirates' Auckland non-stop has indirectly seen Emirates cancel Panama City service, which was less strategically important and believed to be encountering difficulties as Lufthansa tried to prevent Copa from codesharing with Emirates.
The second development was Qatar Airways' long-awaited service to Sydney. Combined with an Adelaide flight in May-2016, Qatar's size in Australia will double in 2016. Qatar is now considering – traffic rights permitting – a second daily Sydney flight and a new service to Brisbane. The growth disrupts what Etihad, but especially Emirates, were hoping would be a cooling of Gulf-Australia capacity after years of fast growth.