Auckland Airport flags 44% increase in Chinese arrivals
Auckland International Airport, which is targeting Asian arrivals to stoke growth over the next decade, flagged a 44.4 percent increase in Chinese arrivals in May even as international passenger numbers fell.
Total international passenger movements, stripping out transits, fell 2.9 percent to 500,064 in May from the same month a year earlier, the airport said in a statement. Chinese arrivals jumped 44.4 percent to 12,443. China was New Zealand's second largest inbound market behind Australia for the third month in a row.
The airport said the overall decline in international arrivals was attributed to an easing in services to/from Asia and Australia and the scheduled exit by Qantas on the Auckland - Los Angeles route.
Domestic passenger movements rose 4.4 percent to 439,195 in May, compared to the same month a year earlier.
There was strong domestic growth across the whole group with Queenstown Airport, of which Auckland Airport owns quarter, rose 13.6 percent to 59,567.
Auckland airport also has stakes in Australia's Cairns and Mackay airports. Cairns reported a 5.4 percent increase to 259,245 in domestic passengers, while Mackay climbed 18.9 percent to 96,164.
On Friday, government data showed the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose 1 percent to 140,800, with a 51 percent increase in visitors from China to 12,900, the highest-ever.
Shares in Air New Zealand have shed about 5 percent this year and are currently trading at $2.41.
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