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Sydney Airport scraps plans for alliance-based mega-terminals

By David Flynn     Filed under: qantas, cathay pacific, OneWorld, British Airways, Sydney Airport, Malaysia Airlines

Sydney Airport has scrapped plans to create alliance-based terminals as part of an extensive overhaul to take place over the next six years.

"After consulting with stakeholders and the community our concept has moved on from being an alliance concept to one based around specific airline requirements and (passenger) transfer flows" said Sydney Airport CEO Kerrie Mather in a speech to the Australian British Chamber of Commerce.

Under the previous plan, the major overhaul of Australia's busiest airport would create two mega-terminals combining domestic and international operations, with airlines grouped according to their alliances.

The current domestic terminals (T2 and T3) were to be merged into a single hub for Qantas and Jetstar, plus all oneworld members operating out of Sydney – including British Airways, Cathay Pacific and MAS – along with the Red Roo's new chum Emirates.

All other international airlines would continue to fly from today's international Terminal 1, which would also become the home for Aussie challenger Virgin Australia and its partners – an extensive roster including Etihad, Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and Delta, which would also create a de facto Star Alliance hub.

Plans for the two intergrated terminals remain in place under the revised scheme, but Sydney Airport has not revealed details of how airlines would be allocated to those terminals.

A spokeswoman for Sydney Airport told Australian Business Traveller that more details would be forthcoming in the next few months.

Click here for more photos, video and details of Sydney Airport's domestic & international overhaul

Keep up to date with the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.


About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 21/9/12 by here2go

So will there be a free monorail between International and Domestic instead?

1 on 21/9/12 by tronixstuff

Macquarie Bank !=free. 

1 on 22/9/12 by watson374

But how much can they charge? They can't charge that much, considering that it's possible to take the 400 for $2.10.

1 on 22/9/12 by tronixstuff

Considering the train now is $5 between terminals they could get away with at least $6.

1 on 22/9/12 by here2go

I wonder if they had one of those terminals which compel you to take a train underground from the carpark/taxi drop off as it is in the middle of aprons/taxiways, etc they'd charge for that to?

1 on 22/9/12 by tronixstuff

Just think like a merchant bank  - what would they do? :)

2 on 23/9/12 by Givenchy

To me - the $5 ride between the international and domestic terminals are just insane. I have no idea why I have to even pay for such service. Why can't they make it free? In most of the international airports, passengers won't have to pay for terminal transfer. I just don't get it. 


And yes - Sydney Airport defintely needs a change. The facilities and terminals does not suit the demand and needs of modern society. 

1 on 25/9/12 by WorldTraveller

I thought I'd misread when I saw mention earlier in this thread of having to pay to use the shuttle between terminals. This is the first time I've ever heard of any airport in the world charging to ferry passengers between terminals.

1 on 25/9/12 by here2go

Brisbane and Sydney have separate domestic and international terminals in Australia, and both charge for transfers with the exception being if you are on the same ticket, and the airline may waive the fee for you (Qantas / OW transfers certainly will have a waiver).

Perth Airport has a free bus, going every 50 minutes.

2 on 21/9/12 by CL9

Hmm... I'm not sure whether or not scrapping it is a good or bad thing... just out of curiosity does anyone know any other airports around the world that have a similar Dom/Intl in one terminal layout?

1 on 21/9/12 by NEquine

Heathrow T1 &5 and Gatwick North/South.  Most UK aiports have both domestic & international flights flying out of the same terminal.

2 on 25/9/12 by WorldTraveller

London City as well. Passengers are only seperated on arrival as domestic passengers don't need to clear immigration & customers.

3 on 29/9/12 by Arcanum

Many (most?) North American airports have combined domestic/international operations.  Terminals tend to be divided by carrier or alliance rather than destination.

IIRC, visitors to Canada and the US go through immigration/passport control on arrival but not on departure, so international flights often leave from the area as domestic flights.

3 on 21/9/12 by kcknacks

That's a shame - I thought it was an excellent concept and would have made a lot of sense.  The need to move back and forth between the terminals would have been greatly reduced as very few travellers these days would switch from one alliance or airline to another when moving from international to domestic services. 

1 on 21/9/12 by David

It'll be interesting to see what the new arrangement is... I'm told by Sydney Airport people that during the consultation phase they found some surprising and very significant transfer arrangements which would have been made more complex under this scheme.... we'll know more in the next few months as the rev up to talk about The New New Plan.

4 on 29/9/12 by Arcanum

I had to transfer between terminals at SYD for the first time on my last trip to Australia (Virgin domestic to Thai international connection).  What a disgrace.  I paid $5 for the privilege of riding 2 minutes on the dirtiest, most graffiti-ridden train I'd ever seen.  I assumed the line must run through inner-city Detroit or a rough South African township on its way to the airport.

1 on 19/5/15 by abudhabi1

That's terrible.Even Singapore Changi has it's own dedicated trains between the terminals and are free and clean.Sydney could learn a thing or two there.I had to do that coming home from Vietnam in 2010 Connecting Hanoi via Singapore to Adelaide T2 TO T3 ON Singapore Airlines but it was a world away from any train in an aussie airport.


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