SYDNEY, AAP – Sydney Airport has posted a steeper first-half loss and is welcoming even fewer visitors due to the latest coronavirus outbreak.

The airport on Friday posted a first-half loss of $97.4 million as virus concerns and state and territory border closures prevented people from flying.

The first-half loss is 43 per cent greater than the previous first-half loss of $43.8 million.

The airport’s second-half of 2021 has not started well. Passenger numbers last month dived by more than 97 per cent on July last year to 102,000.

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert was confident travellers would return once restrictions eased.

“The pathway to recovery is clear,” he said.

“Governments at all levels are highly motivated to roll out the vaccine, which has now been tied to lifting restrictions.

“As border restrictions are eased, international and domestic travel will be back, and Sydney Airport will be ready to go.”

Domestic travellers returned to the airport from January to April and were at 65 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

However first-half revenue slipped by 33 per cent to $341.6 million. This includes fees from airlines and passengers, its shop tenants, property and car parking.

The operator of Australia’s biggest airport this month rejected a revised takeover bid from a group of investors and said the offer undervalues the company.

Shares on the ASX were higher by 0.26 per cent to $7.74 at 1035 AEST.