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Airways New Zealand welcomes $70m support from Government

A $70 million support package for Airways announced today by the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford will ensure the stability of New Zealand’s air traffic management services through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Air traffic management is a critical part of New Zealand’s aviation system and is essential for keeping air routes open,” Airways CEO Graeme Sumner says. “This assistance will ensure we can continue to provide a safe and effective service during this challenging time, and resume normal operations once air traffic levels recover.”

As a state-owned enterprise, Airways is fully self-funded through fees it charges airlines for its services, and other commercial business activities. Airways’ revenues are directly related to the volume of air traffic it manages and the grounding of flights throughout New Zealand has resulted in a sharp decline in revenue.

International aircraft arrivals are expected to decline by 90% over the next six months, with domestic traffic dropping by half. In March alone, this equates to a drop in international arrivals from an expected 6830, to just 683 throughout New Zealand. Domestic flights will drop from an expected 31,973 to 15,986.

Airways will receive a $70m cash injection from Government. Airlines will receive $37 million over six months to continue to pay Airways fees.

Mr Sumner says Airways is taking strict measures to protect its operations and the aviation system as a whole during COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have robust operational continuity plans in place, and our focus is on maintaining crucial air traffic control services during this time,” Mr Sumner says.

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