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Air NZ arrests slide in passenger numbers

Air NZ arrests slide in passenger numbers, US demand picks up

Dec. 22 (BusinessWire) – Air New Zealand, the national carrier, slowed the decline in passenger numbers last month, amid signs of increased demand on North American and domestic routes.

The airline carried 951,000 passengers in November, down 0.6% from the same month of 2008, the company said in a statement today. Short-haul passenger numbers fell 0.2% while long-haul was down 3.1%.

Shares of Air New Zealand, which is majority-owned by the government, rose 0.8% to $1.20 on the NZX today and have gained 29% in the past six months.

Government figures yesterday showed visitor numbers edged up to 219,900 in November from 219,300 in the same month last year. Tourists from Australia, the biggest source of visitors, climbed 9%, while numbers fell from Asia, Europe and North America.

Air New Zealand has responded to weak demand by reducing capacity, bolstering its load factor by 5.4 percentage points last month. Domestic flights carried 2.1% more passengers while on the key trans-Tasman routes, numbers fell 7.2%.

Passengers from Asia/Japan/UK tumbled 13% from a year earlier, while on North America/UK, numbers gained 5.8%.


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