13 Feb 2008
13 February 2008
The benefits of competition in the domestic market cannot be demonstrated more clearly than occurred in January with passenger growth up 29.7% on January 2007. While Pacific Blue's market entry created the impetus for the growth the January result also reflects the benefits of a significant competitive response by the established airlines. Available domestic capacity increased by 28.8% from the previous year with aircraft loadings growing marginally above the previous year. Year to date, domestic passengers are now 6.1% above the previous year following the substantial growth in recent months.
The international market continues to be severely constrained at Wellington. Growth in international passenger numbers for December was 1.4% above the previous year with seat capacity unchanged. The average airline load factor continued to exceed 80%. The average loads were also above 80% on all of the Australian routes serviced from WIAL. Until more capacity is offered many Wellingtonians will be forced to travel through Auckland or Christchurch to cross the Tasman, or may not travel at all. Year to date growth in international passengers now stands at 4.2%, with seats having fallen by 3.9%.
WIAL's construction programme continued in January. A further new aircraft gate is shortly to be brought on line with works scheduled for completion in mid February. The replacement of two existing air bridges will also commence in February. Work remains in progress to review the use of Wellington's apron facilities to ensure short term demands can be met. With all of the airlines making public comment about further expansion of domestic services, the development programme must continue, to ensure this growth can be accommodated.
The expansion of WIAL's international terminal will also commence in the near future. Details of the expansion plans are soon to be made public.
Works continue on WIAL's North runway end safety enhancement to meet increased international safety requirements. The works will be completed by mid 2008.
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