COVID-19 lockdowns and the Sydney Airport (ASX:SYD) share price

ASX travel shares remain vulnerable to new lockdown measures.

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ASX 200 travel shares A man sits on a suitcase with his head in his hands as a plane flies overhead

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The Sydney Airport (ASX: SYD) share price is falling in late morning trade, down 0.51%.

Of course, it’s not just Sydney Airport shares sliding today.

Overnight Aussie time, all the major European and US exchanges fell heavily on renewed investor angst over the delta COVID-19 variant slowing global economic reopening. At time of writing the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is down 0.38% as well.

But ASX travel shares, like Sydney Airport, are particularly vulnerable to domestic and international border closures. And this is what the company revealed in its June traffic performance results, released this morning.

What passenger numbers did the airport report?

The Sydney Airport share price is sliding amid wider investor concerns about delays in reopening free travel.

In its monthly June traffic figures, the airport compared the performance to June 2019 – pre-pandemic – rather than June 2020 when much of its operations were already shuttered.

It said that domestic traffic was down 56.8%, to 906,000 passengers, in June compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

International travel, as you’d expect, was down even more. The airport reported a total of 83,000 international travellers in June. That’s 93.6% less than in 2019, when June saw 1.31 million international travellers.

All told, total passenger traffic last month fell 70.9% from the June 2019 figures, to 989,000 passengers.

The company pointed to renewed lockdown measures issued by the New South Wales Government as negatively impacting the final week’s domestic travel figures:

These restrictions have resulted in border closures to NSW limiting interstate travel and a suspension in quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel from 23 June 2021. Prior to this suspension, trans-Tasman passenger traffic had returned to more than 40% of the corresponding period in 2019.

Sydney Airport share price snapshot

Despite edging lower today, the Sydney Airport share price remains up by around 33% over the past month, smashing the 0.1% gains posted by the ASX 200 over that same time.

Shareholders largely have the takeover offer, reported on 5 July, to thank for that big lift. The consortium of investors (including QSuper, IFM Investors and Global Infrastructure Management) offering to acquire all the airport’s shares valued the company at $22.6 billion, or $8.25 per share.

That’s 4.7% above the current Sydney Airport share price of $7.88.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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