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AIA - April 2022 Monthly traffic update and May 2022 Preview

Wednesday 15th June 2022

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4.2% Auckland Airport total passenger volumes increased by 4.2% in April 2022 versus April 2021 and were down 57.9% compared to the pre-COVID equivalent in April 2019. Compared to April 2021, international passengers (excl. transits) were up 233.3%, transit passengers were up 1435% and domestic passengers were down by 22.4%.

Key Points:

• International passenger demand rose significantly in April 2022, up 94.4% on the prior month driven by the combined effects of school holidays and a loosening of border restrictions, but still just 25.3% of pre-COVID April 2019 numbers. 73% of the international passengers during April 2022 were on short-haul routes (Australia and the Pacific Islands) up from to 58% in April 2019 illustrating passenger propensity to visit closer destinations during the initial stages of recovery. Load factors on short-haul routes now exceed pre-COVID levels, driven by pronounced strength on the Tasman route and limited seat capacity.

• International recovery on long-haul routes for April 2022 was 16.3% of April 2019 compared to 31.7% on short-haul routes. Demand for longer-haul routes remains impacted by visa waiver countries being blocked from entering NZ until 2nd May and ongoing border restrictions for China, Hong Kong, Japan & Taiwan. Visiting family and relatives (VFR) remains strong, especially for UK and Europe traffic as New Zealanders across the globe look to reconnect with friends and family.

• Transit passengers for April 2022 nearly tripled compared to the prior month due to LATAM restarting Santiago, Auckland, Sydney through flight.

• Domestic passengers increased 62% on the prior month and were 60.7% of pre-COVID April 2019 numbers. Queenstown once again proved popular with passenger numbers recovering to 72.1% of April 2019 volume.

May 2022 Monthly traffic preview

19.3% Auckland Airport total passenger volumes increased by 19.3% in May 2022 versus May 2021 and were down 46.1% compared to the pre-COVID equivalent in May 2019. Compared to May 2021, international passengers (excl. transits) were up 108.7%, transit passengers were up 6096% and domestic passengers were down by 4.8%.

Key Points:

• International passenger recovery continues with passenger numbers for May 2022 increasing 28% on prior month representing a 38% recovery compared to May 2019. Leading the recovery are Australian passport holders, at 53.6% versus May 2019 and New Zealand passport holders at 46.8%.

• Short haul international traffic improved with 206k passengers travelling in the month, a recovery of 47% versus May 2019. Long haul international recovery continues to lag short-haul with traffic 24.3% of May 2019.

• For the month of May 2022, the majority of international passenger movements occurred across the Tasman (159k) with the next most popular route being Fiji (23k), closely followed by the Singapore route.

• Load factors on international flights are exceeding pre-COVID levels. May is traditionally one of the quieter months in terms of load factors, however May 2022 experienced load factors in line with December 2019, showing a combination of robust demand and a shortage of airline capacity.

• 29th May 2022 was a record day for international passenger numbers post COVID with 11,352 international passengers travelling through the airport, the last time daily passenger volume was higher was 26 months ago on 22 March 2020.

• Demand on the domestic network improved, increasing 11% on the prior month even though May, like the international network, is traditionally a quieter month. Domestic passenger volume recovered to 72.4% of May 2019 with recovery on regional sectors at 74.6% compared to 71.6% on jet sectors.

• Queenstown airport welcomed international passengers for the first time since July 2021.

Please see attached pdf for full report.

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