HomeInfratil News2018Wellington Airport half-year results to 30 September 2018

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Wellington Airport half-year results to 30 September 2018

25 Oct 2018

Wellington Airport has announced its unaudited results for the six months ended 30 September 2018 with an EBITDAF before subvention payment[1] of $49.6 million, up 4.8% from the prior period. The net loss after tax was $2.1 million, compared to a net loss of $1.7 million in the prior period.



6 Months Ended

30 September 2018


6 Months Ended

30 September 2017


Year Ended

31 March 2018

Passengers Domestic




Passengers International




Aeronautical income




Passenger services income




Property/other income




Operating expenses and employee remuneration




EBITDAF before subvention payment 1




Net (Loss)/Profit After Tax




Capital investment




Steve Sanderson, Chief Executive of Wellington Airport said there was strong passenger growth of 4.7% for the period and is developing its next capital investment programme for future passenger growth.

“We’ve invested $47.5 million in the half year in developments like our multi-level transport hub which launched this month. The Rydges Hotel build is also nearing completion, due to open at the end of 2018. Room bookings are already open with high demand around key Wellington events.”

“The hotel will enable people travellers to and from central New Zealand to start or conclude their journey with a night’s rest, especially important for those flying on early morning departures or late-night arrivals.”

“The airport has also commenced a significant upgrade of the existing main terminal space which will introduce new retail, food and beverage options.”

“These developments are part our $300 million investment programme over the next five years to improve and grow our aeronautical and traveller facilities.”

Total passenger numbers grew to 3.2 million over the half year period with both domestic and international passengers driving strong growth.

“We are seeing high increases in demand across the domestic network particularly from regional New Zealand” said Mr Sanderson.

Domestic passenger growth of +4.8% has been driven by new air services to popular tourist destinations like Queenstown, Rotorua, and Nelson.  Jetstar and Air New Zealand have significantly increased capacity to Queenstown resulting in a doubling of demand on the route, while links with the top of the South Island have also strengthened.  Air New Zealand also increased flights to Tauranga and Rotorua earlier this year, allowing residents, businesses and tourists to better connect with Wellington. 

International passenger numbers increased +4.3% with around 75,000 passengers flying through Wellington each month.

“The number of passengers being carried on each international flight are near record highs, and we are anticipating a busy summer season ahead” said Mr Sanderson. 

Virgin Australia launches its Wellington-Sydney service on the 28th of October, Air New Zealand starts Wellington-Brisbane on the 17th of December, and Fiji Airways will be introducing its new MAX aircraft from December.  Qantas and Jetstar will also be flying additional services to Sydney and the Gold Coast over the summer season.

Singapore Airlines new service through Melbourne has been a hit with travellers with Melbourne proving to be a popular destination and transit point. 

“Visitors from Singapore have grown by +170% and from India by +90% since the service commenced, with an overall increase from Asia of +37%” said Mr Sanderson.

Mr Sanderson adds: “The airport, airlines and tourism partners are working hard to generate positive outcomes for the region, and it’s great to see these efforts turning into results.”

The Environment Court hearing for the runway extension consent application is still on hold while the CAA reviews Wellington Airport’s safety area length requirements.

“The airport remains committed to the project and there is significant support across the region for the benefits that direct long haul flights bring for business, education, film, tourism and travel. An update on the current process with the CAA will be provided to the Environment Court at the end of October.”

The airport has a responsibility to ensure safe, efficient operations that minimise its effect on our neighbouring community and the environment. The Quieter Homes programme has received a very high uptake and the noise insulation improvements to households continue to be rolled out. The Performance Based Navigation trial for aircraft commenced in September which enables smooth, curved arrivals and departures into Wellington with the benefits being reduction in carbon emissions, better resilience, precision navigation and aircraft noise improvements.

While focusing on reducing our carbon emissions and improving our energy consumption the airport also commenced a native tree planting programme. The native trees which were planted on Miramar Peninsula with Te Motu Kairangi and Trees that Count. While it will take a number of years for any carbon offsets to be realised, the native trees benefit the local community who walk and bike in the area and assist with the Peninsula becoming predator free.

[1] EBITDAF before subvention payment is a useful non-NZ GAAP measure of earnings which presents management’s view of the underlying business operating performance. A reconciliation between WIAL’s NPAT and EBITDAF before subvention payment is set out in the NZX announcement and Note A1 of the Financial Statements for the six months ended 30 September 2018.

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