Air New Zealand long-haul passenger numbers slump

Air New Zealand may be forced to make further moves to cut capacity after a big drop in passenger numbers and passenger load factor on long-haul routes.

The airline carried 1,242,000 passengers in the month, a 7.6% decline from March last year, although it is worth noting the timing of Easter, which happened in March last year and April this year, may have had an effect.

But despite slashing capacity by 10.2% compared to last March the airline’s passenger load factor fell by 2.8%.

The numbers for long-haul routes make for grim reading – passenger numbers plummeted 17.2% from March last year, and a 12.2% cut in capacity wasn’t enough to stave off a 4.1% drop in passenger load factor.

Passenger numbers on North America/UK routes fell 21.1% and Asia/Japan/UK routes fell by 13.3%.

Short haul routes weren’t quite so badly affected, dropping by 5.8% in passenger numbers and a relatively small 0.5% in passenger load factor thanks to schedule changes.

Domestic passenger load factor actually increased by 2.8% but the load factor on Tasman/Pacific flights fell by 2.4%.

Group-wide yields were up 8.3% and adjusted for foreign exchange were up 3.2%.

The drop in passenger load factor will be of huge concern to the airline, which has just witnessed two major rivals take drastic action to cut capacity and get costs under control.

Just days after Qantas announced it would be cutting up to 1750 jobs and grounding planes, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific made a similar announcement saying it would be requesting employees take unpaid leave.

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7 Comments & Questions

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When the NZ1/NZ2 service is dearer than Emirates via a New Terminal in Dubai for all passenger grades.

Plus all the horrible American Immigration Issues, and miserable Lounge Staff.

We were Gold Elite with AirNZ

Our last 5 trips have been with Emirates, and you get to go on a brand new plane, have chaffeur collection from your house (FREE), a loyalty programme you can use, on time flights, and evrything else that would take me 30 minutes to detail.

That main flight from London needs to go via, Vancouver, and be £400 cheaper in Club.

LA is a the very worst airport that I have ever been through anywhere, and the people there are just dreadful.

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I think the airlines should stop being greedy and stop looking for huge profits. Fuel prices have fallen by over 60% from the peaks, more customers are happy booking on the internet reducing overheads and services in general have fallen. All the airlines like Air NZ, Qantas and the others need to do is drop prices, offer cheaper fares and many more people will travel. Jetstar sold their cheap seats in 2 hours. A full aircraft is better than a half empty one. These airlines can do the same for long haul flights as well. What they loose due to dropping prices they can make up for in increased volumes. Its not rocket science. People like traveling, having holidays even now so they can get away from the stress of failing economies, the price needs to be right. Cmon Air NZ and the other airlines now is your time to use smart ideas to stay profitable. Right pricing right now would be the right move.

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It is all about price and quality. Unfortunately by flying via LA it makes both the price and the quality a laughing stock.

Wake up

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AirNZ's long haul prices aren't bad..until you add another 45%! in fuel surcharges then a bit more in other taxes on a London - AKL/WLG - London trip. As I paid last week. I know they might be still recovering from when fuel prices were high...but something makes me suspect 'fuel surcharges' are now just being used to earn additional income and offer tickets that look 'cheap' and competitive at first glance.

I like to know what I'm actually paying for with these surcharges and are they still warranted given the drop in fuel prices?? Come'on Air NZ!

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Air NZ have nothing to worry about, if the numbers keep on falling they can continue to raise prices back home in the non competitive region routes. Last week one way Nelson-Palmerston North $287!!!

And they wonder why less of us are flying, we simply can't afford to at these prices. Better a full plane at cheaper fares.

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Airfares are not why people are not travelling - they are the cheap part - it's when you get to any of the destinations ( UK,USA,Europe ) the pain begines - the NZ $ being so weak is why people are not travelling, you cannot afford accomoidation, tours and general living expenses when away - even thos on the lowest salaries can afford the airfare, but even those on the highest salaries cannot afford the day to day expenses when away - - - all victims of the Pacific Peso unfortunately

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There's a soon to be global pandemic on folks; no one is going to want to get in a tin can filled with who knows how many sick people (who might not even know they are sick), spend several hours breathing the same air, and then go home to give whatever it is to everyone in their family. All unnecessary travel, and that term is about to take on new dimensions, will be eliminated. In the meanwhile, although the CDC says it is too late to contain this and I agree, air travel should be severely restricted just to slow it down a bit.

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