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Airport Develops Growth Market Position

Airport Develops Growth Market Position

Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) has successfully secured the New Zealand base of operations for fast growing Qantas owned airline Jetstar and reinforced CIAL’s position as the leader in developing the value based air travel market to New Zealand

CIAL’s chief executive, George Bellew, said the airport company had developed strategies to build a profitable route in the short haul leisure market through the Value Based Airline (VBA) model.

“Building inbound tourism to the South Island is essential to growth in our business and the region, the development of value based operations from Jetstar at Christchurch will ensure we tap into the growth opportunities out of Australia” Mr Bellew said.

“We anticipate Jetstar will add 14% more capacity to Qantas operations, add employment in the region and give South Island travellers even more travel opportunities at lower fares. This will provide employment, trade and tourism opportunities – worth over $50 million to the South Island.”

The Christchurch VBA success in capturing the Australian market to the region can be seen in CIAL’s results which show Australian arrivals at Christchurch Airport to the year ended Jun 05 grew to 233,000 almost 50% higher than they were two years ago.

Glenn Wedlock, CIAL’s marketing manager believes that Jetstar Airlines offers the region more growth out of Australia.

“Over 2 million Australians travel overseas for holidays each year and New Zealand receives just 16% of that market at 340,000 so the potential is enormous. The Jetstar product with lower fares, greater access and a powerful brand gives our region more opportunity to tap into that holiday market”

Mr Wedlock also said the challenge for the tourism industry was to support the development of air services with further promotion of the region and products that matched the variety of Australian holiday travellers.

“With $99 fares, increased flights and wider market distribution we are converting a lot more interested travellers but with other destinations strongly promoting in Australia April and May saw New Zealand lose market share of holiday travellers.”

“We need to excite more people about our destination. Jetstar and CIAL are planning a multimillion dollar campaign in Australia that will be focused on the selling the destination. However this is a great opportunity for New Zealand tourism and in particular South Island Inc.”

Mr Wedlock added that the Australian holiday market is well aligned with interactive traveller models used by Tourism New Zealand.

“The average spend per day of an Australian traveller is $144 per day only behind the USA ($174 per day) and Japan ($169 per day) and Australian Holiday travellers actually spend $162 per day.”

“Over 69 percent of Australians are repeat visitors and they are among the highest independent travellers so they will explore more of New Zealand. They tend to stay a shorter time but they love what we have to offer with 94% intending to return”

“The new airline models are attracting new Australian markets but if they keep coming back and doing more, more often they are potentially one of our best markets.”

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