Sydney Airport’s response to ACCC airport monitoring report

Monday 6 June 2022

Sydney Airport acknowledges the release today of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) ‘Airport monitoring report 2020-21’ which highlights the severe financial and operational impact on Australian airports from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its analysis the ACCC omits and simplifies important data, specific to Sydney Airport.

For example, the report fails to mention:

  • Over $1 billion in lost revenue in 2020-21, following losses of $300 million in revenue between March and June 2020;
  • In 2020-21 Sydney Airport recorded a post-tax loss of $267 million, excluding the one-off sale of land to the NSW Government for the Sydney Gateway project;
  • $220 million in rental abatements up to 30 June 2021, to help our commercial partners survive the crisis;
  • $43 million in abatements and debt-write offs to Qantas and Virgin Australia;
  • $10 million in aircraft parking relief primarily benefitting domestic airlines.

The report also fails to acknowledge that airports bear the brunt of passenger risk, with Sydney Airport receiving less than 1% of the more than $5 billion in government support to the sector during COVID.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “We are disappointed by the presentation of the ACCC’s report, having just gone through an incredibly difficult period where we lost more than $1.3 billion in revenue yet provided millions in relief to our partners and kept the airport open for essential workers and returning Australians.

“The report creates the impression that Sydney Airport profited during COVID, when the reality is we recorded significant losses, had to raise $2 billion from the market, $800 million in debt, and let go a quarter of our workforce just to survive.

“We are proud of our behaviour through the pandemic and the principled way we supported our commercial partners, many of whom can attribute their survival to our actions.

“Everyone in aviation is emerging from some of the most devasting years in our history and our focus will remain on supporting our partners and working with them to rebuild the industry.”