Refurbished Area At Airport
Refurbished Area At Airport
Today sees the opening of a fully refurbished area dedicated to regional airlines at Auckland Airport.
The extensive upgrade and expansion marks the partial completion of a $42 million project to upgrade the domestic terminal facilities and is part of an extreme makeover being undertaken jointly by Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) and its main tenant Air New Zealand.
Construction in the regional airline gate lounge area started in May and has taken seven months to complete. Airlines operating in the new area include Air New Zealand Link which operates Mount Cook, Air Nelson and Eagle Air services, Air Coromandel, Air Wairarapa, Great Barrier Airlines and Mountain Air.
Located at the eastern end of the domestic terminal, the regional airline gate lounge redevelopment includes two new check-in counters, new seating for 140 people, new carpet and toilets, a new conveyor belt, dedicated baggage claim area and a new cafÃ© called The River CafÃ©. The expanded space measures 1800 square metres.
A new first floor airline operations centre for Air New Zealand and office and rest areas for regional airline staff also form part of the new development.
Auckland Airport has around 5 million domestic passenger movements a year and 1.4 million (35 percent) of those are with the regional airlines.
Auckland Airport chief executive Don Huse says that the regional airline gate development raises the standard of facilities for those flying on smaller aircraft to and from regional destinations.
“Domestic passengers will now be able to experience similar facilities and services regardless of where they’re flying. This is part of our longer term plan to meet current and future capacity requirements and complete a major upgrade to the domestic terminal.”
Air New Zealand Group General Manager Short Haul Airlines Norm Thompson said the new area offers more space and comfort for Air New Zealand customers travelling domestically.
“The new space opens just in time for Christmas, undoubtedly our busiest time of the year. This year, customers travelling on any of our Air New Zealand Link services will be able to enjoy a dedicated space with more facilities.”
The new retail development including new food and beverage outlets, will open before Christmas. The entire project is expected to be completed in December 2007.
The total construction cost of $42m is being shared between Air New Zealand ($13m) and AIAL ($29m, which includes $11m for construction of the new retail). AIAL’s returns on this investment will be derived from additional rental, aeronautical charges and retail income.
Auckland Airport is New Zealand’s international gateway, handling more than 70 percent of the country’s international passengers. It is the second-largest cargo port by value in New Zealand. The airport handles 11 million passengers a year, and around 154,000 aircraft movements. The number of passenger movements is projected to be 24 million by 2025.