ATIA welcomes Federal Government’s reforms to Sydney Airport Slot Management

The post ATIA welcomes Federal Government’s reforms to Sydney Airport Slot Management appeared first on TD (Travel Daily Media) Brand TD.

The Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA) strongly supports the significant reforms to the slot management system at Sydney Airport as the first step towards making flying fairer. ATIA has been calling for reforms of this nature to address the growing and significant economic impact of flight cancellations and delays and to ensure an efficient and competitive environment for Australia’s Travel Industry.

The reforms announced today include a reduction in peak periods, allowing for better utilisation of slots and enhancing operational efficiencies at Sydney Airport.  This strategic change is expected to facilitate increased domestic and international flights and provide more options for consumers, benefitting the overall aviation network.

Sydney Airport, Australia’s busiest airport, handled around 35 million passengers in the 2022-23 period.  The new reforms address the current limitations of the demand management framework and are poised to optimise the 80 aircraft movements per hour cap.  These measures will unlock unused slots, especially during previously restricted peak times, and will also provide regional NSW services with improved access.

ATIA’s advocacy on this issue included a detailed analysis over two decades, conducted by former Qantas economist Tony Webber, which showed airlines often cancel flights for purely commercial reasons, impacting both the travel industry and consumers.

That ATIA report showed that a 5% decrease in travellers due to flight cancellations would lead to an estimated A$405 million loss in domestic tourism from Australia’s top ten airports annually.  Sydney Airport’s cancellations alone would reduce domestic tourism expenditure by between A$143 million and A$572 million per year.

ATIA CEO Dean Long said:These reforms not only enhance the operational efficiency of our busiest airport but also support the many people and businesses in Australia’s Travel sector.  It’s a significant step towards fostering an environment that delivers tangible benefits for everyone involved in and reliant on travel in Australia.”

“We all know that passengers bear what are often significant out-of-pocket costs and lose valuable time due to cancellations.  The opportunity cost for delayed passengers is usually significant, particularly for business travellers.  Cancellations also lead to seats being withdrawn from the market, which raises airfares for those yet to book a flight.”

“There are also massive knock-on effects to travel professionals as a result of cancellations.” “Today’s reforms are the first step towards fairer flying, and we thank the Federal Government for these common-sense improvements.” “ATIA will continue to call for action on the 80-20 rule, which is outdated and needs to go.  Under the rule, airlines can keep a specific timeslot as long as they don’t cancel more than 20 per cent of flights in that slot over the year.”

The post ATIA welcomes Federal Government’s reforms to Sydney Airport Slot Management appeared first on Brand TD.


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