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Sydney Airport traffic numbers rebound in May

The Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd (ASX: SYD) share price will be one to watch on Thursday after the release of its traffic figures for the month of May.

How has the airport been performing?

After a period of weakness, the airport operator reported a rise in both domestic and international passengers in May.

According to the release, the total number of passengers that travelled through Sydney Airport last month grew by 2.4% compared to the prior corresponding period to just over 3.5 million.

This was driven largely by a strong increase in international passenger numbers during the month. A total of 1.293 million international passengers passed through its gates in May, up 6.3% on the prior corresponding period.

Domestic passenger numbers increased 0.3% on the same period last year to 2.217 million.

However, despite this positive month, total passenger numbers are still down slightly calendar year to date. A total of 18.2 million passengers have travelled through Sydney Airport so far in 2019, down 0.1% on the prior corresponding period.

This is the result of a reasonable decline in domestic traffic offsetting solid growth in international traffic.

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said: “The strong International passenger growth in May was driven by increased demand and subsequent load factor increases across most destinations. We continue to have a diverse nationality mix coming through Sydney Airport. In May, we saw double-digit growth from Malaysia, the USA, Greater China and Japan.”

Looking ahead, the airport operator has a couple of new services due to commence that could provide a boost to its traffic numbers later this year.

Malindo Air will start a daily service from Kuala Lumpur via Denpasar in mid-August, operating a 162 seat B737-800.

And the Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) seasonal Sapporo service will commence in mid-December with a 251 seat A330-200 aircraft operating three times per week through to late March.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Sydney Airport Holdings Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.