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Air NZ domestic passenger demand grew in June

Tuesday 27th July 2010

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Air New Zealand, which is offering loyalty card discounts to domestic travellers, said demand within the country climbed last month even as it added capacity.

Domestic passengers rose 10.2% in June from a year earlier to 664,000, according to the airline’s monthly operating statistics. Demand, measured by revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), gained 10.6% as capacity increased 2.9%.

Strong travel demand on domestic routes helped lift total demand by 5.8% to 2.1 million RPKs last month. Total passengers carried rose 7.8% to 1 million. Air New Zealand yesterday announced the launch of a new discount card for frequent travellers on regional routes.

Passenger volumes have picked up across Air New Zealand and its rivals after Qantas Airways installed its discount Jetstar unit in place of its own branded planes on the routes.

Air New Zealand’s Starfish card offers discounts of 15% or 30% depending on which plan is purchased, under a system that locks customers into a longer-term commitment to the airline. It starts next month.

Long-haul passengers rose 4.8% to 130,000, with demand gaining 6.3% to 1.2 million RPKs. Passengers on Asia/Japan/UK routes gained 8.5% and those on North America/UK routes rose 3.8%.

On the intensely competitive Tasman routes, where the airline is seeking an alliance with rival Virgin Blue, passenger numbers rose 2.5% to 207,000 as demand climbed 2.2% to 527,000 RPKs.

Shares of Air New Zealand rose 0.9% to $1.13.

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