Alternatively, a pessimistic view of passenger traffic could give Neal and his consortium partners the numbers to push back against lifting their $8.25-a-share offer that valued Sydney Airport at $22 billion.

The three big assumptions that should be included in any model of future passenger traffic at Sydney Airport are: global vaccination levels; global quarantine requirements for returning travellers; and Chinese geopolitics.

Jarden analyst Anderson Chow summed up the Chinese situation well when he initiated coverage of Sydney Airport in May with a “sell” rating and a 12-month price target of $4.90.

“China issued a travel warning on Australia in June 2020 and China’s National Development and Reform Commission indefinitely suspended dialogue with the Australian federal government in May 2021,” he said.

“We think the current tensions between Australia and China could hold back Chinese tourist arrivals when air travel returns…

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