Air New Zealand’s long haul passenger numbers fell 5 percent last month as the ongoing squeeze in international travel weighs on the national carrier’s global trade.
The airline carried 173,000 long-haul passengers in the month of December, down from 182,000 a year earlier, with 3.8 percent fewer revenue passenger kilometers racked up at 1,619 million. Domestic travel buoyed total numbers, which were down 0.6 percent at 1.3 million.
Domestic traffic crept up 0.3 percent to 833,000 passengers. Total revenue passenger kilometers fell 1.7 percent to 2,812 million, while capacity, or available seat kilometers, rose 0.4 percent to 3,330 million, and load factor decreased 1.9 percentage points to 84.4 percent.
Auckland-based Air New Zealand told analysts and investors in November it’s aiming for a $110 million profit improvement by 2015 from long-haul flights, which are now an under-performing part of the company.
The airline planes to focus on in-flight products and services, deployment of the new Boeing Dreamliner and cost cutting, including through alliances such as the partnership with Virgin Blue. It is exploring opportunities in new markets in South America, Asia and North America, as well deepening its network into China.