16 Nov 2005
Traffic growth in October emerged slightly from the doldrums of previous months. Domestic passengers were up 2.2% on seat growth of 1%. Overall load factors were healthy at 76%. For the year to date, domestic passengers remain down by 0.5% on a reduction of seats of 1.2%.
International passenger growth was somewhat stronger at 4.9% for the month overall on static seat numbers (year to date passenger growth now sits at 2.4%). Overall international seat factor was robust at 76%. Among routes, there were winners and losers. Sydney remains well down on last year (with a reduced competitive environment), Melbourne growth remains modest (with no change in the competitive environment) and Brisbane continues to grow dramatically on the back of a more competitive airline scene on that route. The Gold Coast and Fiji routes remain worthwhile new additions.
October figures were supported somewhat by a week of school holidays, which fell completely in September in 2004. So the October result is somewhat offset by the less positive September result.
Commercial initiatives continue to unfold. At the retail park, Briscoes has now opened and the new Dick Smith store is under construction. Several other leases are in an advanced stage of negotiation. Construction also commenced on the new Icebreaker store in the terminal building. This is the first ever Icebreaker store and it promises to be unique in design and adventurous in product offering. Other leasing activity for the terminal is continuing. The duty free tender closed on 14 October and submissions are now being evaluated. Six duty free operators submitted tenders.
At the end of October, Wellington Airport reached agreement to acquire iSite, an out-of-home advertising company that had earlier this year won the tender to run Wellington Airport's advertising concession. iSite had performed strongly since securing the contract. This acquisition makes sense for Wellington Airport, which is keen to participate more in its non-aeronautical businesses, as well as iSite which now has a corporate owner with a long-term stake in out-of-home advertising.
Plans for the international terminal development are advancing, and this month preliminary construction works commenced on the Southern RESA project.
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