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Airways’FY20 Annual Result Shows Ongoing Impact Of COVID-19

Airways New Zealand today reported its FY20 annual result which reflects the significant ongoing impact COVID-19 continues to have on the aviation industry.

Airways is reporting an underlying loss of $29.6 million, before the net impact of impairment reversals. Based on the forward projections, the asset impairment taken last year of $48.7 million has reversed resulting in a net profit after tax of $5.4 million.

Airways’ capital investment was constrained over the last year due to COVID-19. Capital expenditure reduced to $19.0 million for FY21 from a pre-pandemic budgeted spend of $73.1 million. This meant only investments in systems and technology critical to maintaining safety were able to be progressed, but it continues to ensure it is prepared for future safety priorities.

The commercial businesses under Airways International Limited (AIL) continued to outperform despite the pandemic, delivering a profit of $5.2 million which helped offset Airways’ reliance on government funding. As a leader in its field, AIL will continue to play an integral role in the company’s recovery through the delivery of air traffic management consultancy services, training and technology products worldwide.

“The results we are reporting today illustrate the significant effect COVID-19 has had on the aviation industry. The impact of travel restrictions significantly reduced air travel and core revenue streams for the company. While it’s pleasing to see Airways showing signs of recovery, forecasts indicate that it will take three to five years for air traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels,” says Airways New Zealand Chair, Denise Church.

“Following an unprecedented year, Airways’ focus will continue to be on supporting the recovery of the aviation industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate our customers and partners have had a year like no other. I want to acknowledge that Airways, like the wider industry, continues to adjust and we have learned a number of lessons during this difficult time.

“We will collaborate with our customers and partners to meet their needs with services that are more flexible and agile, while always keeping our focus on ensuring safe skies for New Zealand,” Ms Church says.

The company continues to put safety at the forefront of everything it does, both operationally for its customers and where the health and safety of its people is concerned.

“We are proud of our proven track record of excellent safety practices. In the year to 30 June 2021, we safely facilitated approximately 426,775 flights through the 30 million square kilometres of airspace we control with no operational safety occurrences and no serious harm injuries,” says Airways Chief Executive, Graeme Sumner.

“In the coming year Airways will continue to pursue opportunities to continuously improve through technological advancements and smart air traffic management systems. This will be spearheaded with the transition to our new Skyline-X air traffic management platform, operating from our new seismically-resilient centres in Auckland and Christchurch.

“Digital technology and operating models are increasingly driving change in the aviation industry. At the leading edge of this we have started the Auckland Tower Replacement Programme that will consider, alongside other options, a full-service digital tower solution in Auckland.

“I am proud of our people and the way they continue to rise to the challenge presented by COVID-19 and I credit them, their commitment and resilience for the progress we are making and for continuing to ensure safe skies for the travelling public,” Mr Sumner says.

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