Queenstown Airport wipes international departure tax

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Queenstown Airport has announced today (Tuesday) it’s wiping its $25 international departure fee immediately.

The change is part of the airport’s new airline landing charges regime that takes effect from Sunday.

“Paying a fee on departing Queenstown has long been a frustrating imposition on international passengers,” airport chief executive Scott Paterson says.

“Removing the fee will greatly improve the experience international passengers have when leaving the airport.”

Airport landing charges were last set in 2004.

Paterson says the new regime includes an incentive system that will reward airlines for growing passenger numbers.

Airline charges for international passengers reduce by $1.61 to $17.86.

Charges increase for each domestic jet passenger by 9 cents, from $7.43 to $7.52, and for each turboprop passenger by $1.99, from $5.53 to $6.97, for each turboprop passenger.

Air New Zealand short-haul airline boss Bruce Parton last Friday told a business luncheon that Queenstown had the highest turboprop landing fees in New Zealand.

Paterson says the new charging regime will remain in place for nine years.

However it will be reviewed every three years to address differences between forecast and actual passenger volumes and financing costs.