Wellington Airport results, developments and awards

Press Release – Wellington International Airport Limited

Wellington Airport, recognised as the best in Australasia at the 2011 World Travel Awards, achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments (EBITDAF), excluding subvention payments, of $34.8m for the six …Wednesday 16 November 2011

Wellington Airport results, developments and awards for the six months ended 30 September 2011.

Wellington Airport, recognised as the best in Australasia at the 2011 World Travel Awards, achieved earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and fair value adjustments (EBITDAF), excluding subvention payments, of $34.8m for the six months ended 30 September 2011. This was an increase of $0.6m from the same period last year. The Airport’s subsidiary iSite was sold during the period and following the sale the Airport paid a special dividend of $40m to its shareholders which includes the Wellington City Council.

Nearly $15m was invested in capital developments over the period. The car park extension doubled the number of undercover parks and provided 230 new parks on the top deck, improving drop-off facilities and providing more accessible parks. The new aircraft hangar on the western apron is a world class aircraft handling facility in New Zealand’s capital city operated by Execujet.

The Airport’s next big project planned is the South Terminal Development which will provide increased gate lounge space, new toilet facilities and will also increase aircraft capacity and provide a more efficient taxiway.

Doubling international passenger capacity and completed in time for the RWC 2011, The Rock has now won over 11 awards locally and internationally with the most prestigious being the Transport Category at the World Architecture Festival. Other recent awards include the Commercial Architecture category at the NZIA Wellington Awards and the Purple Pin Supreme Award at the BEST Design Awards. Wellington Airport was also nominated as a finalist in the Travel Digest Travel Industry Awards 2011 for the International Airport of the Year category.

Wellington Airport contributed to the success of RWC 2011 by hosting its busiest day ever on Monday 10 October with over 20,000 passengers including three times the usual number of international passengers. Collaborative planning with the entire airport community ensured the busy days ran smoothly. The “All Blacks” sign was installed to support the new RWC 2011 Champions and the people of Wellington are now voting on three options for the sign.

Overall passenger numbers were slightly down 1.4%, with strong growth on Trans-Tasman routes up 7.7%, but a mixed domestic market. A 10% increase in Melbourne passengers was a good response to increased Air New Zealand services and attractive fares. Christchurch numbers were down and the Puyehue volcanic dust cloud reduced services in June. The Wellington-Auckland sector has recovered from the withdrawal of Pacific Blue and regional services were also ahead of the same period last year.

The second half of the year is expected to see improvements to domestic traffic as Jetstar launches its new Wellington-Queenstown service on 22 December and increases its Wellington-Auckland capacity. Looking forward, the launch of the B787 is being closely followed as that aircraft is expected to open new routes for Wellington.

Steve Sanderson, currently Chief Executive of Queenstown Airport, will commence as Chief Executive for Wellington Airport in the new year after Steven Fitzgerald moved to another role with the airport’s major shareholder Infratil.

The Airport was also delighted by Wellington City Council’s endorsement of the need for Government to upgrade the Airport-CBD roadway, which after the multi-billion dollar improvements to Auckland’s motorways is the most congested in New Zealand.

Earlier in the year, Wellington Airport initiated consultation with its substantial airline customers to determine aeronautical prices to apply from 1 April 2012. The proposed structure would result in the removal of the international departure fee and a reduction in international charges to help promote new routes and additional services to the Capital.

The Airport continued to proudly support community organisations and events including Life Flight Trust, Wellington High Performance Aquatics, Surf Lifesaving, World of Wearable Arts and recently recognised Mana Recovery with the Supreme Award at the Wellington Airport Regional Community Awards. The Airport’s strong support for the New Zealand International Arts Festival is continuing in 2012.

ENDS

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