Sydney Airport’s latest numbers are flying high

Sydney Airport’s (ASX: SYD) September numbers are out, and growth is looking good. Although the company saw a slight 0.3% seasonally adjusted slump in domestic travel for September, international passengers expanded 3.7%. Year-to-date, the numbers look even stronger. 2013 has been far better than 2012, with domestic passengers up 2.3% and internationals up 4.1%, for an overall 2.8% increase.

“Our international result this month was driven primarily by an increase in seat capacity and ongoing strong growth from our key Asian markets,” said CEO Kerrie Mather in a statement today. “We were particularly pleased with the Indian market performance (+18%) driven by the first full month of Air India’s operation of direct services serving Delhi.”

Mather also made mention of double-digit growth from six of her company’s Asian markets. Greater China increased 28%, with more than 23% growth in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. The Hong Kong growth is especially welcome news for Qantas (ASX: QAN), which has announced plans to increase capacity and overall flights on its Sydney-Hong Kong route starting on November 4.

With passenger numbers up, this latest report provides more fodder for Virgin Australia’s (ASX: VAH) request for Sydney Airport to ease up on flight caps to increase capacity. CEO John Borghetti wants another five flights per hour (to 90), and would also like to see regulations eased regarding night-time and shoulder-period travel.

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Motley Fool contributor Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned in this article. You can follow him on Twitter @TMFJLo.

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