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Auckland Airport traffic bolstered by Asian visitors

Published: 1:29PM Monday September 24, 2012 Source: BusinessDesk

  • Auckland airport (Source: ONE News)
    Auckland airport - Source: ONE News

Auckland International Airport, which is targeting Asian tourists to stoke growth in the next decade, reported a 14.4% gain in arrivals from the region last month.

Total international passenger numbers, stripping out transits, fell 0.6% to 563,243 in August from the same month a year earlier, the airport said in a statement.

Chinese arrivals rose 21.3% to 13,862, while visitors from Indonesia jumped 36.4% to 1682, the first time that nation has been among the top 10 sources of tourists.

"This was driven by targeted marketing campaigns including luxury website and social media activity attracting Indonesian visitors to Auckland as part of Auckland Airport's Ambition 2020 initiative to focus on the growing market potential in Asia," the airport said.

Arrivals from Japan climbed 25.9% to 7646. The country continues to recover after a "period of low visitor growth following the earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan."

Arrivals from the UK fell 25.6% to 6503, while visitors from the US dropped 12.6% to 7087.

There was strong domestic growth across the whole group with Queenstown Airport, of which Auckland Airport owns a quarter, rising 26.3% to 86,425. International passengers increased 9.8% to 36,573 for Queenstown.

Auckland Airport also has stakes in Australia's Cairns and Mackay airports. Cairns reported a 6% increase to 320,443 in domestic passengers, while international passengers fell 10% to 70,147.

Mackay domestic passengers climbed 1.9% to 96,035.

Auckland Airport's total domestic passenger numbers fell 0.1% to 516,598 from the same month a year earlier.

Separately, the board reiterated its forecast net profit, excluding any fair value changes and other one-off items to be $143 million to $150 million in the year ended June 30, 2013. That's up from a $142.3 million a year earlier.

"We do note with some caution any potential long-term implications of the prevailing volatility in global economies," chairwoman Joan Withers said.

"As always, this guidance is subject to any other material adverse events, significant one-off expenses, non-cash fair value changes to property and further deterioration due to the global market conditions or other unforeseeable circumstances."

Shares in Auckland Airport last traded at $2.65 and have gained about 5% this year.