Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has advocated merging Sydney Airport’s domestic and international terminals.
Speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce event on Monday, Joyce said the distance between the two was a “pain point” for passengers and combining them would encourage the national carrier to invest in its lounges.
“They would have to expand where we are in the domestic side – there is a whole series of hangars and land where they could expand into and create a new Qantas international terminal for Qantas and its partners,” he said.
“That is a potential plan we would like the airport to work towards.”
A consortium of super funds and global investment partners this year purchased the facility for $23.6 billion, but it will soon face competition from the new Western Sydney Airport when it opens in 2026.
The original airport has faced a string of problems this year as it struggled to cope under a perfect storm of surging demand, COVID isolation and staff shortages. However, performance significantly improved as it and airlines rapidly hired more staff.
Joyce also used his appearance to address the supply-chain issues that kept five of Jetstar’s 787s grounded for weeks following a freak series of events, including “multiple” lightning and bird strikes.
“Windshields – we usually have two or three spare parts but, right now, they are a restricted item worldwide,” he explained. “We would have been able to replace that in 12 hours, maybe 24 hours at a stretch, but it took us nearly seven days to source and put it on, so you lose that aircraft for seven days.”
His comments came on the day it was revealed Jetstar saw a cancellation rate of nearly 10 per cent in September — nearly five times greater than the long-term industry average of just 2.1 per cent.
The airline said in response it was “well documented” that September was a “particularly challenging month for operations”.
“A number of unexpected engineering issues impacted our fleet, causing significant disruptions across our network, and we sincerely apologise to customers whose holidays were impacted.
“Our teams have been working hard to get all the aircraft back in the air, and we’re pleased that our operations have stabilised significantly in October, with further improvements expected in November.”