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Air New Zealand continues to report substantial increases in the number of passengers it carries both on short-haul and long-haul flights.
The company yesterday released its August operating statistics which showed it had carried 1.3 billion passengers in the month, up from 1.22 billion, or 5.3%, in August last year.
Revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.4% to 2.8 billion km and available seat kilometres rose nearly 3% to 3.4 billion km.
Short-haul domestic passenger numbers rose 4.3% to 830,000 in the month, and revenue passenger kilometres rose 5.2%.
Tasman-Pacific passenger numbers rose 8.5% to 306,000, Asia-Japan-Singapore passenger numbers 6.1% to 65,000 and the Americas-United Kingdom passenger numbers 3% in August to 92,000.
Forsyth Barr broker Damian Foster said the strong August operating statistics would help to offset the additional fuel cost pressures in play since management provided the 2019 guidance range last month.
Jet fuel prices have lifted from about $US85 ($NZ129) a barrel to $US90 a barrel over the past month, exacerbated by further weakness in the New Zealand dollar.
''In isolation we estimate an additional $US5 a barrel on the jet fuel price adds $70million to Air NZ's annual cost base. In order to offset this further cost pressure, Air NZ needs to lift passenger revenues by an additional 1.5%.''
Assuming fuel cost pressures persisted, Air NZ would need to lift passenger revenue growth further to mitigate downside earnings risk, he said.
The airline last week reported record operating revenue of $5.5billion for the year, up 7.4%. Earnings before tax rose 2.5% to $540million and the profit after tax rose 2.1% to $380million.