A record 5.1% increase in passengers in 2013 over the
previous year confirms Queenstown Airport's status as the
fastest-growing airport in Australasia.
However, the drop in domestic visitors is a concern, as the
slide is predicted to continue this year.
New figures for the year ending December 2013 reveal
1,215,526 domestic and international passengers passed
through the airport terminal, compared with 1,156,250 in
The Queenstown Airport Corporation said the positive result
was due to ''stellar'' transtasman passenger growth, which
jumped 30.9% from 215,300 to 281,761 in a year.
Corporation chief executive Scott Paterson said yesterday all
three transtasman routes - Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne -
showed double-digit percentage growth thanks to extra
capacity and frequency added by Air New Zealand, Jetstar,
Qantas and Virgin Australia.
The Brisbane route was a standout performer, achieving 102%
The airport's private jet business also grew, with charter
flights increasing 12% in 2013 to 175 landings.
''International growth, particularly in the second half [of
2013], just continues to delight us,'' Mr Paterson said.
''There's a lot more capacity on those routes and loadings
are strong. I think we'll see continued strong growth and
we're looking at what extra terminal capacity is required for
However, the international rise has not economically offset a
decline in domestic passengers through the terminal over the
past six months.
The downward domestic trend is likely to continue this year,
despite the competitive Auckland-Queenstown route being the
strongest performer in 2013, with passenger numbers growing
Jetstar withdrawing its services from Wellington and
Christchurch and realigning its schedules to increase
capacity on transtasman routes was the prime cause for the
''Jetstar pulling out of these two markets has had an impact
on our business and the number of people coming to
Queenstown,'' Mr Paterson said.
''Jetstar's decision to withdraw was accepted and understood,
but the message for Queenstown is not to take our airlines
• The total number of domestic and international passengers
through Queenstown Airport in December 2013 was 110,653,
0.06% or 675 passengers down on December 2012.
• International passenger growth slowed, but remained buoyant
- up 7.6% or 1696 passengers compared with December 2012.
• Domestic passenger numbers were down 2.7%, or 2371
passengers, compared with December 2012.