Sydney Airport has marked a historic milestone in the lead up to its centenary, welcoming the arrival of its billionth passenger.
The billionth passenger, 10-year-old Katinka from the Blue Mountains, touched down with her family shortly after 10:00am on September 5.
Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert, who greeted Katinka on arrival, said, “It’s an exciting milestone to celebrate in our centenary year. One hundred 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 has been incredible.”
Sydney Airport welcomes more than 44 million passengers each 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,” Culbert added.
“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 parents’ generation likely did in their entire lives.”
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.