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AIA - March 2022 Monthly traffic update and April 2022 preview

Monday 16th May 2022

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-14.8%. Auckland Airport total passenger volumes decreased by 14.8% in March 2022 versus March 2021 and were down 77.2% compared to the pre-COVID equivalent in March 2019. Compared to March 2021, international passengers (excl. transits) were up 330.1%, transit passengers were up 157% and domestic passengers were down by 34.5%.

Key Points:

• International passenger demand rose in March 2022 due to the removal of isolation requirements for arriving New Zealanders and permanent residents. Whilst volume was only 12% of March 2019, international passengers were up 172% on the prior month.

• Passenger demand on short-haul international routes for March 2022 recovered to 15.1% of pre-COVID March 2019 levels with airline load factors increasing towards historic levels. Before COVID, 49% of passengers on short-haul international routes were New Zealand residents compared to 41% on long-haul international routes. Short-haul routes have therefore bounced back more strongly than long-haul routes which were only 8.8% of March 2019 levels. The majority of long-haul international passengers in March 2022 travelled to and from UK and Europe reflecting pent-up demand for visiting friends and relatives.

• Domestic demand for March 2022 was 34.9% of March 2019, with passenger volumes declining in the month compared to February 2022 reflecting hesitation to travel during the Omicron outbreak. Domestic traffic improved in the final week in March, returning to approx. 40% of pre-COVID levels.

April 2022 Monthly traffic preview.

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 that flew during April 2022 were on short-haul routes (Australia and the Pacific Islands) up from to 58% in April 2019 and showing 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 Australia route.

• 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.

Please refer to pdf for full report.



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