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Fewer overseas passengers in October after last year's RWC crowds

Air New Zealand and Auckland International Airport report fewer international passengers last month compared to the influx of visitors a year ago when the Rugby World Cup was reaching its crescendo.

The national carrier reported a 1% drop in long-haul passengers carried to 115,000 in October from the same month a year earlier, while Auckland Airport showed a 3.5% decline in international passenger movements to 612,976, the companies says in separate statements.

Both showed a pick-up in domestic passenger movements from October 2011, with Air NZ increasing 3.5% to 686,000 and Auckland Airport reporting an 11% boost in numbers to 561,051.

The figures echo official data which showed a 15% slide in the number of foreign visitors in October, with fewer Australians, Brits and South Africans – the three nationalities that had plumped the rugby tournament's numbers.

Chinese arrivals bucked the trend, jumping 44% to 15,344, and Auckland Airport showed a 45% pick-up in passengers landing from China. Air NZ's Asia/Japan/UK route showed a 1.8% slide to 43,000 in October from the same month a year earlier.

Auckland Airport showed a slowdown in international aircraft movements in October, which fell 5.5% to 3748, while domestic flights rose 3.4% to 9901.

Shares in Air NZ were unchanged at $1.245, while Auckland Airport stock gained 0.2% to $2.66.