With the start of school holidays mere hours away, travellers are being urged to prepare for the busiest international travel period since the international borders reopened.
Sydney airport is expecting the spring school holidays will bring the highest level of international travel since February last year.
It is anticipated the airport will be busy but not chaotic as passengers experience the revival of pre-pandemic holiday travel.
During the peak period on Friday morning, the majority of domestic travellers moved through the security checks in less than five minutes.
The smooth operations are expected to continue for the next two weeks of the spring school holidays, which are forecast to boost both domestic and international air travel.
Nearly three-quarters of Australians are planning to take a holiday during the break, according to a survey by Tourism & Transport Forum Australia.
Of the 1500 people polled, 60 per cent said they would be travelling domestically, while 12 per cent said they would head overseas.
More than half of respondents said their travel plans had been impacted by the rising cost of living.
TTF chief executive Margy Osmond noted the tourism industry was reliant on domestic travel until international travellers returned in pre-pandemic numbers.
“It’s fantastic to see more Australians are planning to go away these school holidays, with the majority spending their tourism dollars here at home,” she said.
“But cost pressures are still having an impact with many shortening their trip or choosing cheaper accommodation to save money.”
A Sydney airport report revealed that it had recovered 88.6 per cent of traffic since Covid.
In August, 3.25 million passengers passed through the travel hub.
Sydney airport CEO Geoff Culbert noted international flights had been a stronger return to form than domestic travel.
“Recent boosts to capacity from some of our international airlines has led to a surge in overseas visitors, especially from countries like South Korea, the Philippines and Vietnam, where the numbers are now higher than in 2019,” he said.
“The domestic recovery continues to underwhelm, with the August result 12 per cent below 2019.”
However, the number of Australians eyeing holidays could provide a welcome boost to the airport’s recovery.
The TTF survey found that 82 per cent of Australians plan to travel in the next year, with participants ranking travel as the second most important non-essential expense.
As the school holidays begin, travellers are being urged to plan ahead and arrive at the airport early to avoid issues.
Passengers with check-in luggage should arrive two hours before a domestic departure and three hours before an international departure.
Anyone planning to leave their car at Sydney airport is advised to book ahead before the school holiday rush.