20 Mar 2006
Wellington Airport February 2006 traffic figures have been posted on the Infratil website.
Febuary traffic results represented something of a change on recent months. Domestic passenger growth was 3.5%, bringing year to date growth to -1%. The very significant impact of Origin Pacific's decline in seats appears now to have reached an end as anniversaries of those reductions pass. International passengers fell by 6%, at a lower rate than in November, December and January. This brings year to date growth to -2.7%. The international passenger growth story remains as it has been since May 2005. Sydney traffic is well down (17.5%) due to the withdrawal of Pacific Blue in May 2005 on that route. Queensland routes are up 32% with the additional services from Air New Zealand, Freedom and Pacific Blue on those routes compared to same time last year. Unfortunately, since November (when we reached the anniversary of some of the new capacity on Queensland routes) the increase on Queensland routes has not been sufficient to offset the falls on the Sydney route. We would expect overall negative growth for international passengers until April, and then a return to overall growth from May when we reach the anniversary of Pacific Blue's withdrawal from Sydney. Also, in May 2006 Qantas is expected to commission the first of its 737-400s on the Tasman routes (the 737-400 has significantly more seats than the current 737-300).
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