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Experience Co cleared by CAA to resume Queenstown skydiving operations, shares rise

Monday 15th January 2018

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ASX-listed Experience Co was cleared to resume skydiving operations in Queenstown yesterday after a voluntary suspension last week following an incident left an American man missing, presumed drowned. 

The Civil Aviation Authority approved NZONE Skydive's resumption of business, and the Australian adventure tourism operator said it's still cooperating with ongoing investigations. A recovery operation for the missing man in Lake Wakatipu is still underway. The ASX-listed shares rose 3.3 percent to 78.5 Australian cents. 

Experience Co chief executive Anthony Ritter again paid his condolences to the man's family and acknowledged the support of Queenstown's skydiving community. 

"Queenstown is the adventure tourism capital of the Southern Hemisphere and we know how important skydiving is to the vibrancy of this unique city," Ritter said in a statement to the ASX. "In that regard, we're pleased to say that after taking advice from the regulators, staff, crew and the local community, we have resumed operations." 

Wollongong-based Experience Co, formerly known as Skydive the Beach Group, bought Queenstown's NZONE Skydive in 2015 for $17 million to tap into New Zealand's booming tourism sector. NZONE, set up in 1990, employs 65 staff and has taken more than 300,000 passengers tandem skydiving. The Australian company expanded its New Zealand footprint with the $10.4 million purchase of Skydive Wanaka in 2016.


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