Auckland International Airport could be in for a market
upgrade if the good news contained in statistics released
recently continued, Forsyth Barr broker Andrew Rooney said.
The company's statistics were supportive of recent comments
on the acceleration in international passenger numbers
through Auckland airport.
''This increase in international traffic throughput will flow
through to the bottom line from the flow-on passenger service
charges and duty-free retail-oriented income. I see scope for
market upgrades if this continues,'' Mr Rooney said.
The company reported international passenger volumes,
excluding transit passengers, were up 6% at Auckland airport
in September compared with the corresponding month last year.
That resulted in 34,000 additional passengers, the majority
coming from the American and Tasman routes (13,000 and 17,000
respectively). American growth was again driven by additional
capacity on all North American routes, the company said.
Tasman growth was fuelled by extra capacity and increased
average loadings on Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney routes.
International passenger numbers at Queenstown Airport were up
64.7% in September from last year. Mr Rooney said the
passenger growth was driven by additions to both Jetstar's
and Air New Zealand's transtasman schedules, with additional
services to Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on Jetstar and to
Sydney and Melbourne on Air New Zealand.
In September there were 31,319 international passenger
movements through Queenstown Airport compared to 19,017 in
September last year. In the financial year to date, 119,322
passenger movements were recorded, up 28.7%. Domestic
passenger numbers fell 8.4% to 69,870 in the month.
''Queenstown is a small part of Auckland airport but
international growth remains strong and will continue to
climb with the recent addition of transtasman routes by both
Air New Zealand and Jetstar. Domestic activity is down, I
suspect, given the Jetstar route changes.''
On a 12-month time frame, Forsyth Barr saw limited scope for
further share price rises.
However, the sharebroker viewed Auckland airport's outlook as
The company was a high-quality, high-margin business with a
strong industry position and a solid earnings growth profile,
Mr Rooney said.
Moreover, its non-aeronautical revenues were also primarily
driven by passenger numbers.
''Auckland airport has demonstrated its resilience through a
challenging period and is a low-risk exposure to the New
Zealand tourism recovery and growth story. We believe the New
Zealand tourism outlook remains robust over the long term,''