No dividend to be paid by Queenstown Airport

Queenstown Airport. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Queenstown Airport. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
No dividend will be paid to the owners of Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) as the council-controlled company continues to stabilise its drastically reduced finances in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The results for the year to June 30 show total revenue was down 40% to $27.8million, and profit after tax was down 91% to $1.6million.

QAC is owned by the Queenstown Lakes District Council (75%) and Auckland International Airport (25%).

A $4.88million support programme for airport tenants and operators was implemented at both Queenstown and Wanaka Airports (valued at $6.75million to date) and no annual dividend will be declared due to the continuing impact of Covid on financial performance, business and the region.

Board chairwoman Adrienne Young-Cooper said the priorities over the past year were to stabilise the business in the complex and uncertain operating environment and to safeguard the company’s core capability to operate vital airport infrastructure in the Southern Lakes region.

“While we celebrated the return of transtasman travel in April after 387 days without scheduled international services at Queenstown Airport, the vulnerability of the ‘bubble’ since and the emergence of the highly contagious Covid-19 Delta variant further reinforces the highly uncertain environment we continue to operate in.

"Prudent and very cautious operational and capital planning, and the ability to make quick decisions continue to be required," she said.

During the reporting period there was a sharp decline in passenger movements (arrivals and departures) at Queenstown Airport compared with the previous year.

This led to aeronautical and commercial revenue decreasing by 41% and 40%, respectively.

Overall, QAC’s revenue was down 40% to $27.8million from $46.7million in the year ending June 30, 2020.

Reported net profit after tax was down 91% to $1.6million from $18million last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) decreased by 45% from $31.3million to $17.1million.

Activity at Queenstown Airport for the 12 months to 30 June 2021 was significantly lower than the previous year:

QAC responded to Covid by restructuring, laying off staff, and halting most of its capital expenditure programme.

Total operating expenditure decreased by 30% to $10.7million from $15.3million the year before.

Queenstown Airport’s terminal upgrade was the key capital project of the year. Construction began in April.


Why does a local authority own and operate an airport?
What point is there in this Socialism. As we all know this is a failed creed and it will end up costing the residents big money.
The business, including improvements on the land, should be sold to private enterprise on the open market and the land leased at commercial rates.
Let capitalists take the risks.

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