Auckland Airport sees 44% increase in Chinese arrivals
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BUSINESSDESK: Auckland International Airport, which is targeting Asian arrivals to stoke growth over the next decade, flagged a 44.4% increase in Chinese arrivals in May – even as international passenger numbers fell.
Total international passenger movements, excluding transits, fell 2.9% to 500,064 in May from the same month a year earlier, the airport said. Chinese arrivals jumped 44.4% to 12,443.
China was New Zealand's second largest inbound market behind Australia for the third month in a row.
The airport said the overall decline in international arrivals was attributed to an easing in services to and from Asia and Australia and the scheduled exit by Qantas on the Auckland-Los Angeles route.
Domestic passenger movements rose 4.4% to 439,195 in May, compared to the same month a year earlier.
There was strong domestic growth across the whole group, with Queenstown Airport, of which Auckland Airport owns quarter, up 13.6% to 59,567.
Auckland airport also has stakes in Australia’s Cairns and Mackay airports. Cairns reported a 5.4% increase to 259,245 in domestic passengers, while Mackay climbed 18.9% to 96,164.
On Friday, government data showed the number of short-term visitor arrivals rose 1% to 140,800, with a 51% increase in those from China to 12,900, the highest-ever.
Shares in Air New Zealand have shed about 5% this year and are currently trading at $2.41.