Sydney Airport has come in last place for the forth year running in a report by the ACCC to the Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.
The ACCC monitors a number of airports across Australia due to the potential for these airports to engage in anti-competitive behavior due to their market position and geography. The airports monitored include, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne (Tullamarine), Perth and Sydney (Kingsford Smith) airports.
In it’s report the ACCC analyses a range of indicators including quality of service, prices, costs, profits and investment levels. While the indicators do not provide conclusive evidence as to whether the airports have been earning monopoly rents (ie: more money than a competitive market would allow), trends in those indicators over time can identify those airports whose performance may require greater scrutiny.
“This year’s report has found the performance of Sydney Airport to be of greatest concern. The indications are that Sydney Airport has increased profits by permitting service quality to fall below that which the airlines reasonably expect,” ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel, said.
“Airport users, including passengers and airlines, rated Sydney Airport last amongst the monitored airports for the fourth consecutive year and it appears that investment in the international terminal has been slow. And while Sydney Airport was the only airport to report a fall in passenger numbers, its revenue and profit margins still increased. Sydney Airport also recorded the highest average prices at $13.63 per passenger, compared to the lowest of $7.96 at Melbourne Airport.”
Brisbane Airport remained the highest ranked airport in 2008–09, while Sydney Airport was ranked last for the fourth consecutive year. The users’ overall satisfaction with the airports’ quality of service increased slightly in the period, although Brisbane Airport was the only airport to achieve an overall rating of ‘good’.
In their survey responses, airlines have consistently identified Sydney Airport as the least responsive of the airports with respect to service delivery and quality over a sustained period of time. In particular, Sydney Airport’s international terminal was rated below satisfactory on average by the airlines.
The Airports as ranked by the ACCC report: