Queenstown Airport reports strong half-year result

Queenstown Airport 2014 078 web
  • Strong financial performance, Net Profit after Tax (unaudited) is $4.7 million - up 23% for the 6 months ending 31 December 2014 compared to the corresponding period in 2013.
  • Overall, passenger numbers were up 11%, with international passengers up 23.5% and domestic passengers up 6.3%
  • Interim dividend of $1 million paid to the airport’s two shareholders Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Auckland Airport (AIAL)

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has reported a strong result for the six months to 31 December 2014, with increased passenger numbers contributing to a solid financial performance.

Sustained international and domestic passenger growth, together with improved commercial revenue, saw QAC earn a Net Profit After Tax of $4.7 million - up 23 per cent compared to a profit of $3.8 million for the corresponding period in 2013.

In line with its dividend policy, QAC paid an interim dividend of $1 million to its shareholders, with 75.1 per cent payable to Queenstown Lakes District Council and 24.9 per cent to Auckland International Airport Ltd.

Queenstown Airport Corporation Board Chairman John Gilks said that the company’s continued infrastructure investment and initiatives to improve the customer experience were paying off.

“In the first six-month period we welcomed just under half a million domestic passengers through Queenstown Airport and passed the 200,000 mark for international passengers for the first time ever in a six month period,” he said.

Total passenger numbers increased 11 per cent to 720,000 in the first half of the 2014/15 financial year and international passenger numbers continued to grow strongly - up 23.5 per cent to 221,000 compared to the same period the previous year.

Mid-December 2014 saw the recommencement of Jetstar’s Gold Coast service with a new three times-weekly schedule. These flights, in addition to increases on existing routes for all airlines, mean double digit international passenger growth should continue through the second half of the year.

After decreasing slightly last year, domestic passenger numbers have rebounded in the first half of the financial year, up 6.3 per cent to 499,000. This increase is primarily on the Auckland-Queenstown route but more jets on the Christchurch and Wellington routes have provided extra capacity.

“Winter 2014 saw Queenstown Airport reach record levels of international passengers and flights, so to meet the peak period demand we used a temporary structure to expand the arrivals area. This winter our new international terminal will be in operation which will help us optimise passenger flows and provide a world-class entry point for our arriving international visitors.”

New offerings around the terminal have proven popular with airport visitors and helped lift the company’s commercial performance in the first half of the financial year. These include an expanded café, a new café and bar, a second passenger lounge, and a new travel pharmacy.

Work has also continued on other long-term projects including QAC’s 20-year works plan to mitigate aircraft noise. In the first six months of the financial year QAC trialled and tested different building systems and performance of contractors. Preliminary assessments of the residential properties eligible for acoustic insulation and mechanical ventilation are underway and the works programme will commence in the second half of 2015.