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Air New Zealand October passenger numbers rise almost 10%

Thursday 25th November 2010

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Air New Zealand reported an increase of almost 10%in passenger numbers in October, as the airline increased capacity amid signs that demand is returning to pre-global financial crisis levels.

The airline carried a total 1,017,000 passengers in October, up 9.2% compared to the same month of 2009, the company said in a statement. Revenue passenger kilometres rose 6.1%, capacity rose 2.4%, and group load factors increased by 2.9% percentage points.

On a month-on-month basis, passenger volumes declined by 20% from 1,272,000 in September.

This comes as short-term overseas visitor arrivals declined by 1% in October, which fell to 184,900 compared to the same month in the previous year, according to Statistics New Zealand, as the strong New Zealand dollar saw tourists look for more affordable destinations.

Short haul passenger numbers rose 10.2% on October last year, with revenue passenger kilometres in up by 12.6% on last year. Domestic load factor rose by 6.6 percentage points to 83.4% on a capacity increase of 3.6%.

Tasman- Pacific demand in October rose 8.1% on the previous year after capacity was increased by 0.6%, while the monthly load factor increased 6.1 percentage points to 87.3%.

Long Haul passenger numbers were 2.5% higher than October last year, with North America/U.K. up 5.4% on a capacity increase of 7.3%, while load factor fell 1.4 percentage points to 80.3%.

Demand rose 0.8% on Asia-Japan-UK routes where capacity fell by 3.2% and load factor rose by 3.2 percentage points to 81.5%.

Group-wide yields for the financial year to date were up 4.3% on the same period last year. Short haul yields fell 1.4%, as the airline continued to lower fares which stimulated demand, while long haul yields rose 10.9%.

Shares were unchanged at $1.32, and have appreciated 2.8% in value so far this year.

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