Alliance lauded

The Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) board has praised the benefits of the company's strategic alliance with Auckland Airport.

It this week made its six-monthly report to the Queenstown Lakes District Council's finance and corporate committee meeting, on the back of a $2.8 million profit for the period and last month's record passenger figures.

QAC chairman John Gilks, who was appointed in November, said the "critically important" strategic alliance saw both airports set to gain.

"While it's difficult to say it contributed 'X' amount to the bottom line over six months, we definitely know it's working in the best interests of the company through route development and a lot of marketing of the Queenstown Airport." Mr Gilks said statistics such as the 47% increase in Chinese travellers arriving in Queenstown in the year to November illustrated the benefits QAC and therefore the resort were receiving.

An increase in the number of passengers through the airport is set to continue, with 33 international flights a week scheduled this winter, up from 29 last winter.

Acting QAC chief executive Karen Castiglione said minor construction, including new toilet facilities, would be carried out before the expected boost in winter visitors.

The corporation's new chief executive, Scott Paterson, is due to take over officially next Thursday.

QAC paid its first dividend on August 31, with the district council as the main shareholder receiving $2.5 million and Auckland Airport taking $800,000.


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