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Air NZ passenger numbers rose 2.7% in August, led by domestic, Tasman routes

Tuesday 20th September 2011

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Air New Zealand lifted passenger numbers by 2.7% in August as an increase in volumes on domestic and trans-Tasman routes more than made up for a decline on long-haul routes.

The airline carried 1.01 million passengers last month, up from 978,000 in August 2010. The passenger load factor, a measure of capacity utilisation, was unchanged at 81.9%, the company said in a statement. Revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), a measure of demand, fell 2.8%.

Demand fell most markedly on Asia/Japan/U.K. routes, with RPKs falling 10.7%, and the airline said the Christchurch and Japanese earthquakes earlier in the year continue to “significantly affect passenger numbers on the Japan routes.” By contrast, RPKs on domestic routes climbed 4.9% and total short-haul rose 5.8%.

Shares of Air New Zealand fell 0.9% to $1.10 and have tumbled 27% this year. The stock is rated a ‘buy’ based on six recommendations compiled by Reuters, with a median target price of $1.48.

The airline carried 889,000 passengers on short-haul routes last month, up 4.7% from August last year. Domestic volumes rose 4.2% to 649,000 and passengers on Tasman/Pacific routes rose 5.9% to 240,000.

Long-haul passengers fell 10% to 116,000, with Asia/Japan/U.K. volumes falling 8.5% to 49,000 and North America/U.K. declining 11% to 67,000.


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