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Wellington Airport increasesd profit with fewer passengers

Tuesday 1st June 2010

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Wellington International Airport (WIA) posted a 4.4% gain in full-year earnings to $68.2 million, even though passenger numbers fell 1.7%.

It achieved this result by squeezing more revenue out of passenger and aeronautical services.

The airport, 66% owned by Infratil, said income from passenger services rose $2.1 million and aeronautical gained $1.3 million. The airport’s annual report said that over the past 20 years, Wellington’s annual passenger numbers have almost doubled to 5.1 million.

The same rate of growth is expected in the next 20 years, and an estimated $450 million investment will be required to maintain and enhance the present facilities to cater for up to 10 million passengers a year.

“The airport’s focus will remain on cost control, providing good services to airlines and passengers and ensuring development plans progress so that future growth is not constrained by inadequate facilities,” chairman David Newman said. “Over the medium term, it is anticipated that growth in traffic will resume, but as has tended to be the case in the past, in all probability it will come in ‘lumps’.”

Newman said the New Zealand and Australian air markets are becoming increasingly integrated and new Asian airlines and Middle East based carriers are vying for market share with established Asian based carriers.

WIA’s capital works programme is to plan, with work finished on the runway upgrade, and continuing on the international terminal ‘The Rock’, Newman said.

The terminal upgrade should be completed in the third quarter of this year, and “while the master plan indicates a substantial capital works need over the next decade, immediate investment plans are modest,” he said.

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