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Airport hits 5.5 million record

Monday 15 August 2005

Australia, US and UK help Airport hits 5.5 million record

Christchurch International Airport Limited (CIAL) hit a record high of 5.5 million passenger movements for the year ended 30 June 2005. The big drivers of growth were its Value Based Airline (VBA) development into Australia and new routes such as Los Angeles.

The developments have not only seen tourism expenditure flow into the local economy but also the growth in Value Based airlines has meant that more New Zealanders are able to travel more often at lower prices. Similarly new routes to Los Angeles have made it easier to access the United States from the South Island.

CIALs chief executive, George Bellew, said the airport company worked hard to build long haul routes such as Los Angeles, Singapore/Europe and short haul routes to Australia with airlines and this was paying dividends in growth.

'We have constructed campaigns worth several million dollars promoting the region with airlines in markets around the world and we are seeing the response with arrivals from US growing 45%, Europe 25% and Australia 22% in the last financial year.' Mr Bellew said.

'These developments help exporters access markets more easily and also flow on to our domestic services enabling greater access to other regions. We also hit a record 4 million passenger movements domestically. In the near future we expect up to 35 per cent of people travelling domestically will be international visitors and that's great for more regional development' he added.

The airport company recently became the number one airport of arrival for Australian holiday travellers on key Tasman routes and is set to keep developing this market with both Pacific Blue and Jetstar based at Christchurch Airport.

Marketing Manager Glenn Wedlock said the airport company had its eyes set on other markets.

'With airline and industry partnership we have grown our Australian holiday market 47% in two years to get to number one and we have been replicating the model in the US, Japan, UK, Korea and the big focus of everyone China. We have been developing new programmes and are now targeting that magic 6 million passenger movements.'

ENDS

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