Record year for Queenstown Airport


Queenstown Airport continues to smash passenger-number records.

Its latest monthly statistics reveal total passenger movements topped 1.5 million last year – a record for a 12-month period – and were up 14.3 per cent on the previous year.

December was the airport’s busiest-ever month, with total passenger movements up 21.7 per cent on December 2014 to 156,636.

Passenger numbers on its trans-Tasman routes jumped 27 per cent last month, with all the routes growing by at least 19 per cent.

Domestic passenger numbers were up 20 per cent – the biggest year-on-year jump for three years – while December 21-27 was the airport’s busiest-ever week, both for all passengers and for domestic passengers.

Queenstown Airport Corporation communications manager Jen Andrews says December was an “outstanding record-setting month”.

The airport company had expected last year to be busy because of expected flight numbers, but the load factors on domestic flights had exceeded its expectations and pushed passenger numbers above forecasts.

Loads on the Auckland to Queenstown route are “very high”, Andrews says, at more than 90 per cent, despite Air New Zealand and Jetstar increasing their combined capacity by 22 per cent.

Load factor is a measure of how much of their passenger-carrying capacity airlines are using.

Andrews says the high passenger numbers presented logistical challenges, particularly with carparking, but the airport community was a “well-oiled machine” that worked together to overcome those.

Otago Daily Times