15 Jun 2005
Wellington Airport's May 2005 traffic figures have been posted on the Infratil website.
The May 2005 traffic results for Wellington Airport continue recent trends. International passengers grew by 3.4% in May. The reductions of Pacific Blue services during the month coincided with a reduction on the Wellington-Sydney city pair, as would be expected with a reduction in carriers and capacity. In addition, fare levels have generally increased over the past 12 months. This includes both base fares and fuel levies. For May, there was still plenty of capacity for passenger growth on the Sydney route, but this will be tested later in the year unless additional capacity is added back into the route. By contrast, the Wellington-Brisbane city pair grew by 46% on last year as a consequence of Air New Zealand taking over the route from Freedom and the increase in Pacific Blue services. This is in addition to the new Gold Coast services operated by Freedom. Overall, load factors grew marginally on last year reaching 63.2% in what is one of the slowest months of the year. Demand on Pacific Island routes is yet to be proven with a late onset of winter weather.
Domestic traffic fell by 2.5% with seat capacity down 3.8%. Trunk routes remained relatively static. By far the greatest impact remains the reductions in capacity and passengers carried by Origin Pacific, and the consequential
lack of vitality on regional routes. Air New Zealand will introduce the Bombardier Q300 aircraft later this year, but
in the absence of a healthy competitive environment, New Zealand faces the prospect of high fares and constrained growth in domestic air travel. Recent statistical reporting
on fare indices shows domestic fares very close to the pre-Express Class peaks.
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