Half-year result reveals continued growth for Chch Airport
Christchurch Airport is reporting an increased interim result for the six months of July to December 2018, off the back of international passenger growth and strong cost control.
Chief Executive Malcolm Johns says total operating revenue for the period grew 7.9% ($7.0m) compared to the same period last year.
“Our team has managed to hold operating costs at last year’s levels through a strong ongoing focus on productivity, which meant that revenue growth has flowed through to an improved net surplus after tax of $24.3m, up 26% on the same period last year,” he says. “This has resulted in the Board declaring an interim dividend of $21.9m, also 26% up on last year.”
International arrivals led passenger growth, with a 2.9% increase in international passengers compared to the same period the previous year. The stand-out market remains China, growing 7.1% in the period. In November 2018, China Southern Airlines began operating its daily service between Guangzhou and Christchurch on its new 787-900 aircraft, which has around 30% more seats than the previous aircraft used. For the months of November and December, since the new aircraft started operating, Chinese arrivals at Christchurch were up 16% on the same two months the previous year, while total Chinese arrivals into New Zealand for those two months dropped by -4%. Christchurch continues to be a growing entry point for Chinese visitors, who are overwhelmingly attracted to New Zealand by the South Island.
“We continue to be pleased with the growth in international arrivals from the USA, up 6.7%, given we don’t have a direct international service with the USA”, said Johns.
Of the international airline seats operated by airlines into and out of Christchurch over the six months, Qantas/Jetstar supplied 28%, Air New Zealand 26%, Emirates 16%, Virgin 12%, Singapore Airlines 9%, China Southern 5% and Fiji Airways 4%.
Domestic passenger growth was restricted by capacity reductions on the Queenstown and Auckland routes, both of which continue to have very high load factors.
As part of their alliance with Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand announced in December it would commence a summer service between Christchurch and Singapore during summer 2019/20, using their 787 aircraft. This will complement Singapore Airlines daily service on the same route, which has been upgraded to the new A350 aircraft from January 2019.
In September 2018, Christchurch Airport was named Australia/Pacific’s best small airport at the World Airport Awards in Copenhagen. Christchurch Airport was the only New Zealand airport to win a World Airport Award in 2018 and continues to be named by travellers as Australasia’s best airport for customer service.