Queenstown Airport's passenger numbers for December
continued on from a similarly impressive November.
Pictured; a Mount Cook Airlines ATR-72 departing
Queenstown, last August. Photo by Stephen Jaquiery.
An additional 132 international and domestic flights into
Queenstown Airport during December saw a respective 51% and
almost 20% boost to passenger numbers for the month, listed
Auckland International Airport (AIA) reported yesterday.
While AIA, which owns a 25% stake in Queenstown airport, had
its busiest week to date, ending on December 23, processing
172,800 international passengers, Queenstown's upturn was
credited to an additional 64 international and 68 domestic
Released separately by Air New Zealand yesterday, domestic
and short-haul passenger numbers underpinned a 3.3% boost for
the national carrier passenger numbers during December - up
to 1.35 million people.
Craigs Investment Partners broker, Greg Easton, said the Air
New Zealand update was a ''solid result'', with the historic
domestic use in December the main boost for numbers.
He noted long-haul demand was down, likely reflecting the
economic conditions at present, notably the decrease
revolving around Asia/Japan demand.
He described the AIA record in late-December and the boost to
Queenstown passenger numbers as ''impressive'', and expected
AIA would be pleased with its investment in Queenstown.
Internationals through Queenstown were up from 14,678 a year
before to 22,285, while domestic numbers were up from 74,719
Shares in Air New Zealand gained 1c, trading about $1.26,
after the announcement, while shares in AIA continued to
trade about $2.84, barely changed.
A month earlier in November, Queenstown was also the star
performer for AIA, as international passenger numbers were up
17.5% on the previous November, driven by 32 additional
international flights, while domestic passenger numbers were
Mr Easton noted that flights from Cairns airport, in which
AIA also has a stake, revealed a decline of 4.9% in
international aircraft movements, and while passenger numbers
were up, the trend could be reflecting tougher economic times
Air New Zealand has just started daily return services to
Shanghai, for the first time since the route was launched in
''The Shanghai region is home to around 23 million people and
the city is a gateway for the rapidly growing Chinese
market,'' Air New Zealand said in a statement. China was now
New Zealand's second-largest inbound tourist market, after
Australia, having recently overtaken both North America and
the United Kingdom. Short-haul passenger numbers were up 3.9%
on the corresponding period last year and demand increased in
the domestic market by 6.1%.
The Tasman-Pacific demand increased 4.7%, driven mostly by
the introduction of B777 aircraft on the Auckland-Perth
Long-haul passenger numbers decreased 0.8% compared with
December last year. On North America-UK routes, demand
increased 6.3%, while demand on the Asia-Japan-UK routes was