Tuesday 18th April 2023
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72% of pre-COVID equivalent. In February 2023, total passenger volumes at Auckland Airport were 72% of the February 2019 pre-COVID equivalent in the last full financial year not impacted by the COVID pandemic. International passengers (excl. transits) were 71% of February 2019 numbers with transit passengers and domestic passengers at 47% and 75% respectively.
• Passenger recovery during February 2023 decreased slightly from prior month to 72% due to the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle disrupting passenger travel;
• Despite this, international passenger demand continued to improve, recovering to 71% compared to February 2019 with noticeably higher load factors on international services during the beginning and end of the month as travel plans were adjusted due to the weather events. It was pleasing to see eight international airlines carried more passengers during February 2023 than they did in February 2019;
• North American routes continue to improve, recovering to 96% for the month with passenger demand to and from Canada exceeding February 2019 levels and USA demand recovering to 88%. Short haul Pacific Island routes also recovered strongly, at 93% of February 2019 numbers;
• Domestic passenger recovery during February 2023 decreased to 75% from 81% during January 2023 because of Cyclone Gabrielle disrupting passenger travel; and
• Queenstown airport international passenger numbers were 121% of February 2019, and domestic were 86% of February 2019.
March 2023 Monthly traffic preview
81% of pre-COVID equivalent. In March 2023, total passenger volumes at Auckland Airport were 81% of the March 2019 pre-COVID equivalent in the last full financial year not impacted by the COVID pandemic. International passengers (excl. transits) were 76% of March 2019, with transit and domestic passengers at 58% and 88% respectively.
• Passenger recovery during March 2023 increased from the prior month to 81% with 1.51m passengers traveling, volumes not seen since February 2020;
• International passenger recovery improved by 5ppts from the prior month to 76%, with short-haul international routes recovering to 85% and long-haul international routes reaching 65% compared to March 2019. Asia routes recovered to 56%, a 10ppt improvement on prior month, partially driven by three airlines operating to and from mainland China helping the China route to recover to 30% of March 2019;
• International travel by New Zealand passport holders recovered to 87% for March 2023. Activity in this passenger segment is expected to continue to be strong through the winter months as New Zealanders head away for some winter sun. Non-New Zealand passport holders recovered to a post-COVID high of 71% during March 2023. Indian passport holders were the fifth largest nationality with 28k passengers - an impressive recovery of 127% versus March 2019;
• Capacity on the North American route will decrease from the end of March 2023 for the New Zealand winter months as American Airlines and Air Canada end their seasonal services and United Airlines operates a reduced schedule. Capacity will return at the end of October 2023 when seasonal schedules resume. North American routes performed well over the Northern Winter 22 / 23 season, with passenger volumes recovering to 93% driven by load factor improvements of 6ppts;
• Domestic passenger recovery during March 2023 increased to 88% with 779k domestic passengers traveling. Only one month since the start of the pandemic had a higher recovery percentage, July 2021 at 90%. The last month with higher passenger volume was December 2019; and
• Queenstown airport international passenger numbers were 113% of March 2019, and domestic 94% of March 2019.
Please see attached PDF for full report.
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