Wellington Airport results for the Six Months Ended 30 September 2015
Wellington Airport’s investment in route development is paying off with three new international services over the period. Jetstar to Melbourne and Gold Coast and Fiji Airways to Nadi have delivered an annual increase of 165,000 seats, reducing travel costs and improving connectivity to Asia and North America. Jetstar has commenced Dunedin flights and will add Nelson in the second half of the year and Qantas will start a summer service to Brisbane. Over the half year Air New Zealand added 3.5% extra domestic capacity.
The new international routes and promotion of the services in conjunction with Positively Wellington Tourism have grown the market. The strong and sustained demand has also meant loadings on aircraft have been the highest ever experienced. The outcome of the new capacity is an increase in international passengers of 17% to 419,139 for the half year. Over the next six months the marked step-up in international passengers is expected to continue.
Domestic passenger numbers were up over 3% for the half year to 2,388,201. The moderate increase is expected to continue with up-gauging of Air NZ aircraft across the domestic network, increases in frequency and regional competition from Jetstar including new routes from Dunedin and Nelson to Wellington. Sounds Air is growing from being a small local operator to a material regional player with five routes and 100,000 seats forecast to be flown in 2016. Origin Air and Kiwi Regional Airlines have also entered the regional market. Travellers are already experiencing the benefits of regional competition which is likely to have been an important contributor to the recent 13% drop in domestic air travel costs 2.
Up to $300m of capital development is underway to cater for current and future passenger growth making Wellington Airport the biggest construction site by value between Auckland and Christchurch. Plans include the expansion of domestic terminal, redevelopment of airport retail, expansion of the international terminal, a hotel, multi-storey car park, retail park expansion and the roll-out of the noise mitigation programme for neighbouring residents.
Wellington City Council – Wellington Airport
joint project to enhance the region’s air
This year 563,000 people travelled between northern hemisphere destinations and Wellington’s market catchment, all having to fly via other New Zealand or Australian Airports. The joint venture with Wellington City Council to extend Wellington’s runway will open the door for long haul airlines to operate to and from central New Zealand, delivering significant visitor growth, business connectivity and more convenient, affordable long haul services.
The initial stage of the project has involved completing the feasibility assessment and assessing all effects of the construction and final reclamation. The airport has been consulting with neighbours and local recreational groups over the last six months and is about to ask the wider region for their feedback on all the assessments in late November. It is important the project is transparent and understood so that anyone with an interest is informed and able to provide feedback on all aspects of the project. While most people appreciate the benefits of better and cheaper air services, the Council and Airport must undertake and make public a full evaluation of the costs, benefits and impacts. The airport will lodge the application for consent in early 2016 with the aim to have the necessary approvals in place by the end of 2016.
Supporting Wellington events and the
Every year the airport is proud to play a supporting role in the region’s events and community endeavours.
The Airport is a major supporter of New Zealand’s most successful innovative performing arts and design event the World of Wearable Art. In February next year the world comes to Wellington again for the New Zealand Festival of which Wellington Airport is a leader partner sponsoring the light show For The Birds in Otari Wilton Bush Reserve.
The Wellington Airport Community Awards recognise volunteer organisations from across the region and the Supreme Award was recently presented to Earthlink who help clients coping with mental health or addiction on their pathway towards sustainable employment.