19 Nov 2007
International passengers grew 2.5% in October from the previous year, despite a 7.9% fall in capacity. The average
airline load factor on international services for October was very high at 84.5%.
Year to date growth in international passengers now stands at 5.7%, with seats falling by 4.4% in the period since April 2007. The high load factor demonstrates the severe capacity constraints existing for Wellington services. It is inevitable that without more international capacity Wellingtonians will be increasingly forced to travel through Auckland or Christchurch to cross the Tasman, or worse still will not travel at all.
Domestic passenger volumes grew 1.3% in October on a 2.0% reduction in seat capacity. The average domestic load factor in September was 2.7% above the previous year. Year to date, domestic passengers remain marginally above the previous year despite a 2.8% fall in seat capacity.
Considerable work was undertaken during October to ensure that facilities were available to accommodate Pacific Blue's domestic start up in November. Reconfiguration works to departure lounge facilities will enable Pacific Blue to operate from a new aircraft gate that was completed in November. The capital development ensures that appropriate facilities also remain available for Air New Zealand and Qantas operations. WIAL will have to continue its capital development programme to ensure that it can accommodate further competition in the market. At the launch of its domestic services, Brett Godfrey, Pacific
Blue's co-founder and Chief Executive confirmed that it would be considering regional services in New Zealand. Air NZ's domestic jet fleet expansion is now also evident with a leased aircraft from Thompson Travel appearing on the domestic network.
Progress on other development projects has occurred as follows:
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