Sydney Airport has marked an historic milestone in the lead up to its Centenary, welcoming the arrival of its one billionth passenger.
The billionth passenger, ten-year-old Katinka from the Blue Mountains, touched down with her Mum and five-year-old brother shortly after 10am this morning on Singapore Airlines flight SQ231.
Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert, who greeted Katinka on arrival in Sydney, said:
“It’s an exciting milestone to celebrate in our Centenary year. 100 years ago, our first commercial passenger arrived in the back of a two-seat bi-plane, landing on a dusty bullock paddock. Today, we’re celebrating our billionth passenger who arrived courtesy of an A380 carrying nearly 450 people – the progress in aviation over the past 100 years is incredible.”
Sydney Airport welcomes more than 44 million passengers a year, and at the current rate of passenger growth will reach the two billion passenger milestone within the next 20 years.
“Aussies love to fly and it’s clear that people from around the world love to visit Australia,” Mr Culbert said.
“Air travel has never been easier or more accessible – our billionth passenger has probably flown more in her first 10 years than I did in my first 30, and more than my parent’s generation likely did in their entire lives.”
Looking ahead, Mr Culbert said the future was looking bright for the industry.
“In 1947 a trip to London required six stops and took 96 hours. Today, 70 percent of the world can be reached from Sydney in a single leap, and within five years I’m confident that will be 100 percent.
To mark the occasion, Singapore Airlines upgraded Katinka and her family to Business Class on the arriving flight, and Sydney Airport and Singapore Airlines partnered to present the family with return economy flights to anywhere in the Singapore Airlines’ network, within the next 12 months.
The billionth passenger was also greeted with a performance by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and received a bumper gift hamper from Sydney Airport’s duty-free partner Heinemann Tax & Duty Free.