QAC revenue plummets in ‘tough’ period

Tough border controls have reduced passenger numbers at Queenstown Airport. PHOTO: ODT FILES
COVID-19 has more than halved Queenstown Airport Corporation’s (QAC) revenue during the last six months of 2020.

The airport’s interim results between July and December last year showed revenue was down 53% to $13.5million, compared with $29million over the corresponding period in 2019.

There was also a sharp decline in passenger movements, leading to QAC’s aeronautical revenue dropping by 56% and its commercial revenue falling by 58%.

Reported net profit after tax was down 80%, to $2.2million (unaudited), compared with $10.8million in the corresponding period last year.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) decreased by 56% from $20.4million to $9million.

QAC board chairwoman Adrienne Young-Cooper said QAC was among the many businesses in the Wakatipu which had to make redundancies, also halting most of its capital expenditure programme and reducing operating expenditure by 48% to $4.5million, from $8.6million during the corresponding period in 2019.

"It goes without saying that this has been an incredibly challenging period and operating conditions have been tough.

"To support operators at both Queenstown and Wanaka airport, QAC implemented a range of rent relief packages in early 2020, together with other ... support.

"Over the reporting period the relief provided to tenants was valued at $2.1million," she said.

Airport chief executive Colin Keel said while the past year "was not what we expected", it shone a light on the "strength and cohesion of our airport community and the Queenstown Lakes district".

Mr Keel hoped to see the opening of a "two-way transtasman safe travel zone" in the second half of the financial year.

"Queenstown Airport's only international services are direct transtasman flights, and we have the protocols, procedures, and infrastructure in place to manage the reopening of the New Zealand-Australia border as soon as it is deemed safe to do so by the respective governments."

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