Today, Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has reported its annual results for the year ending 30 June 2022.
- 1.13 million passenger and 9,734 aircraft arrivals and departures facilitated during FY22 – a ten year low
- Total revenue $26.8 million, down 3% compared to F21 and down 43% from FY20
- Earnings before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) was $14 million.
- Profit after Tax $1.08 million
- Shareholder dividend of $1.3 million declared
- More than $100,000 invested in our region through community partnerships
- Support programme for airport tenants and operators valued at $5 million over reporting period continued
- $8 million spent with regional suppliers
- Toitū carbonreduce re-certification and 39% annual reduction in operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions achieved
QAC Board Chair, Adrienne Young-Cooper said: “After operating for more than two years in the complex environment created by the COVID-19 global pandemic and the related global and national response we are cautiously confident that we have now entered a sustained recovery period. We are focused on supporting the recovery of the Southern Lakes region and the businesses operating at Queenstown Airport,”
“The company’s business fundamentals and operating capabilities remain strong. We are pleased to declare a dividend this year after two years without declaring an annual dividend,” said Mrs Young-Cooper.
“For 330 days, the majority of the reporting period, there were no scheduled international flights to and from Queenstown Airport. Domestically, there was an extended period of nationwide and regional lockdowns, as well as regional border restrictions which resulted in significantly reduced domestic flights at Queenstown Airport. There were no flights between Auckland and Queenstown, usually our busiest route, for 178 days, half of our total operating days. These business disruptions had a significant impact on our operations and on both aeronautical and commercial revenue . FY22 was in fact the most challenging year of the pandemic from an operating cashflow perspective but the steps taken in years one and two of the pandemic put QAC in a sound position for the recovery now underway,” said Mrs Young-Cooper.
During the second half of the reporting period there was a phased reopening of the New Zealand border. From 12 April, Australians were able to travel to New Zealand once more and scheduled direct trans-Tasman flights returned to ZQN on 23 May. Visitors from all international markets are now able to enter New Zealand.
CEO Glen Sowry said: “The pace and timing of recovery is dependent on a wide range of factors, including the continued propensity of New Zealanders to travel domestically, trans-Tasman flight schedules to and from Queenstown Airport, and the recovery of global aviation and tourism,”
“Our forecasts indicate that aircraft and passenger numbers will return steadily and are likely to be on par with pre-COVID levels by FY25, with 1.59 million passenger arrivals and departures forecast during the coming year. Queenstown and the wider region remain highly desirable places to live and visit and whilst it will take some time for the global aviation industry to rebuild and recover, we are confident that we are well placed to serve the residents of the region and visitors well.”
Capital expenditure over the year included investment in the Terminal Upgrade Programme (TUP) and the upgrade of three aircraft stands.
Phase 1 of TUP was completed in June 2022, on time and within budget. Mr Sowry said: “The project has enabled an uplift in passenger amenity and experience. We’ve increased the departures processing space to allow for new Aviation Security screening equipment and body scanners, and expanded passenger queuing area. The project also included a new Customs area and Duty-Free Departures store. We’ve also achieved improved seismic strengthening and a new, more energy-efficient heating, cooling, and ventilation system.”
Sustainability and Climate Change
This year Queenstown Airport updated its sustainability strategy and developed its decarbonisation roadmap. This prioritised three pillars: People, Planet and Prosperity which focus on initiatives like reducing the airport’s operational emissions, community partnerships, the noise mitigation programme and biodiversity in the region.
Queenstown Airport is proud to be Toitū carbonreduce certified and has set ambitious targets to reduce its operational emissions by 60% from its 2019 baseline reporting year by 2030, and to be net-zero by 2040.
Mr Sowry said: “During the year we introduced an on-site composting facility which enables us to divert organic waste from landfill across airport offices, food and beverage retailers and airport lounges,”
“We’ve also committed to certified renewable energy supply across the airport campus, including the cessation of diesel generator use for supplementary power supply during peak demand (CPD) times,”
“The steps taken to date have delivered an independently certified 39% decrease in our operational emissions compared to last year. While lower activity has contributed to the decrease, the initiatives we have taken are also having a measurable impact,”
“We know that low-emissions aviation will require a connected network of airlines and airports. Enabling the technology and infrastructure required for the decarbonisation of air travel, including electric aircraft operations and alternative fuels, is key to our long-term planning,” said Mr Sowry.
Planning for the future
A key focus this year has been developing a ten-year plan which considers how Queenstown Airport provides aviation infrastructure and amenity for the district.
Mrs Young-Cooper said: “We’ve reflected on the company’s essential role in contributing to Aotearoa New Zealand’s air transport services, and the wellbeing of local and regional communities now and into the future,”
“In FY23, we will progress to consultation on, and preparation of, the long-term master plan for Queenstown Airport. Through community and stakeholder engagement we will have the opportunity to better understand the regional communities’ vision for the airport and its related assets,”
“The QAC board and management team recognise the significant opportunity we have in the coming year as we complete our long-term master plan and implement our decarbonisation roadmap to shape the future of this important community asset in partnership with our shareholders and the people of the region,”
“In closing, we would like to thank the staff at both Queenstown and Wānaka airports and acknowledge their resilience, hard work and positivity during very challenging times. We would also like to recognise Deputy Chair, Simon Flood who stepped in as Managing Director in the first quarter of the reporting period before Glen Sowry joined us as CEO in September 2021,” said Mrs Young-Cooper.
For full details on the company’s performance and results QAC’s annual report, 30 June 2022 is available to download here.