AUSTRALIA- The latest Airport Monitoring Report by the ACCC reveals that the financial performance of four major Australian airports (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth) during the fiscal year 2021-22 remained significantly lower than the outcomes achieved in the pre-pandemic financial year of 2018-19.
In the fiscal year 2021-22, the collective operating profit margins of the four airports varied between eight percent and forty-two percent.
Australian Airports Financial Results
“Despite a resurgence in passenger volumes towards the end of the 2021-22 period due to the reopening of domestic and international borders, all four airports continued to record operating losses in aeronautical services during the financial year,” explained ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey.
“The airports maintained an overall profitability due to their non-aeronautical operations, such as parking and leasing, which compensated for the aeronautical service losses.”ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey
Total operating profit margin by the airport, 2018-19 and 2021-22
Aeronautical operating profit margins by the airport, 2018-19 and 2021-22
The report indicates a sustained recovery in both domestic and international travel. During the first three quarters of 2022-23, domestic travel ranged from 84% to 107% of the levels observed in the corresponding period of 2018-19.
Similarly, international travel reached between 61% and 71% of the comparison period’s figures.
In May of this year, the ACCC put forth a recommendation to the Australian Government, urging the enhancement of the price monitoring framework.
This would involve the four airports providing more comprehensive data concerning aeronautical, car parking, and landside access services.
Additionally, the measures used to assess airport service quality, which the four airports are obligated to report to the ACCC, should be updated.
The ACCC believes that this augmented level of transparency will bring advantages to airport users and offer the ACCC and governmental bodies better insights into whether the four airports are exercising their market influence with respect to specific services.
“Airports play a crucial role in supporting economic activities in Australia, and the suggested modifications to the monitoring structure should prove beneficial to airport users and ultimately serve the interests of the Australian public,” commented Ms. Brakley.
The ACCC conducts oversight over the performance of the four major airports concerning aeronautical and car parking services in accordance with a directive from the Australian Government that mandates an evaluation of prices, costs, and profits.
Moreover, the ACCC also evaluates the quality of these services and the provision of landside access services.
Given the substantial impact of COVID-19 on the four airports throughout 2021-22, this report primarily focuses on the airports’ recovery process from the pandemic.
Notably, the ACCC didn’t collect data regarding service quality for the 2021-22 period, but this data collection will be resumed for the subsequent 2022-23 report.
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