Queenstown Airport growth up another 34.4%

Queenstown Airport continued its strong overall performance in December with international passenger numbers 34.4% higher than the corresponding period last year.

The total number of passengers through Queenstown Airport for December was up 16.3% on December 2013, according to Auckland International Airport figures released yesterday.

Jetstar's Gold Coast service started in December and would operate three flights a week.

The increased summer flight schedule meant there would be as many as eight international flights per day at the resort's airport over the Christmas holiday period.

Queenstown Airport also recorded its highest month for domestic volumes, with 96,498 passengers.

The 11.3% increase on December 2013 was due to the increased size of aircraft and higher loadings across all domestic services, Auckland Airport said in its December monthly traffic update.

The figures showed 32,237 international passengers passed through Queenstown Airport in December, 221,286 passengers passed through in the year to date, 23.5% up on the previous corresponding period, and, on a rolling 12-month basis, there were 350,798 passengers, up 24.4%.

In December, there were 1084 aircraft movements through Queenstown, up 5.9% on December last year.

Auckland Airport figures showed the week ended December 2014 was the busiest week ever at Auckland Airport with 187,624 international passengers.

That exceeded the previous record, from the week ended January 12, 2014, by more than 5000 passengers.

''The record performance has continued into 2015 with the new weekly record having already been eclipsed by the 195,103 international passengers in the week ended January 11, 2015.''

The 780,925 international passengers in December were 11,000 greater than the previous record in January 2014 and 4.8% higher than December 2013, the airport company said.

The December result was helped by capacity increases on North Asian routes, driving higher visitor arrivals over summer, as well as people travelling to visit friends and relatives for the Christmas-New Year period.

Last week, Statistics New Zealand reported visitors to New Zealand were up 5% to 402,500 in December, the highest ever recorded for any month.

China continued as the biggest source of growth with 39% more arrivals from China than in December 2013.

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