Airport passenger numbers climb for Queenstown

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Queenstown Airport Corporation is reporting a total dividend for the past financial year of $3.6 million and a 14.5 per cent lift in passenger numbers.
 
The increase to 1,198,918 passengers underpinned a 7.7 per cent increase in revenue from $18.2 million to $19.6m, QAC chairman John Gilks says. 

The company earned a net profit after tax of $5.3m. 

Of the $3.6m total dividend for the year ended June 30, $2.7m is payable to Queenstown Lakes District Council, which owns 75 per cent of the airport, and $900,000 to its 25 per cent owner, Auckland International Airport.
 
That QLDC divided equates to around $122 per rateable property. 

All four airlines servicing the airport, Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia, increased capacity during the past year. 

“Making available more seats through larger capacity aircraft and changing schedules characterised the year as the airlines has to be nimble to meet customer demand,” Gilks says.
 
“Air NZ saw an opportunity in winter to increase capacity on its Wellington route and during summer on the Auckland service. 

“Jetstar realigned its schedule to increase capacity on international routes, reduce its Auckland service and suspend its Christchurch schedule.” 

The airport completed key infrastructure projects including the expansion of the terminal to provide larger international departure facilities and a much larger Air NZ Koru lounge, Gilks says. 

Gilks says of the airport’s relationship with alliance partner Auckland Airport: “The board is happy to report that the alliance is delivering benefits exceeding initial expectations.” 

Gilks adds that directors expect passenger growth to continue but maybe at lower levels than experienced in recent years.