Wellington Airport drops departure fee

Wellington Airport has announced the removal of the International Departure Fee for passengers from 1 April this year.

The International Departure Fee, known to many as the Departure Tax, has been in place for over 20 years at Wellington Airport.

“Improving the traveller experience is important to us and removing the departure fee will make it easier for all passengers travelling internationally,” said chief executive officer Steve Sanderson.

“Taking away the need to join the queue and pay the fee is a big step forward.”

Wellington Airport issued its final pricing document today containing the charges airlines will pay for using the Airport’s facilities and infrastructure for the next five years from 1 April 2012, after a year of extensive consultation with airlines ands the Board of Airline Representatives.

The international charges are set to reduce by around 39% over the coming five-year period from 1 April.

The reduction in international charges combined with incentives for growth is expected to help promote new routes and additional services to the Capital.

“With the added benefits of its central city location, the final prices place Wellington’s charges in between Auckland and Christchurch Airports and in the lower range of Australasian Airports in terms of cost per passenger for the five year period,” said Mr Sanderson.

Chief commercial officer Matt Clarke said that the new price structure would affect international charges, reducing by $1.72 per passenger each year in real terms.

“Domestic charges will increase on average by 74 cents each year,” added Mr Clarke.

“Overall, the average fees per passenger will increase by 41 cents or 3.6% per year in real terms.”

According to the Airport, passenger numbers are expected to double to 10 million by the year 2030.

Auckland International Airport first led the trend back in 2008.

Communications manager for Auckland Airport Richard Llewellyn, said the Airport introduced this change four years ago after mounting passenger queues in order to pay for the fee were deemed unnecessary and time consuming.

Christchurch Airport also cut their fees a couple of years after Auckland Airport cut theirs, added Mr Llewellyn.

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9 Comments & Questions

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I can not believe i have read something going down in price, i am sure there must be a catch.

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free as,

my grandmother use to say : there is no such thing as free lunch"

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No such thing as free lunch --- grandma said

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It starts on April Fool's Day....so there's a clue!!!!

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Dom Post's article was written from the other perspective, bitching about the rise in Domestic Landing Fee,

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The airport is owned by Infratil and that company expects monopoly profits, profits not only the capital but also on all the money they borrowed because they didn't have enough capital for everything they wanted to buy. Now they are jacking up current landing fees to pay for future spending i.e current users pay for a service or facility that doesn't even exist. And by the way, try parking at the airport ($10 /hour and more), for a real surpise! The current generosity with passenger fees is probably intended to improve public relations and avoid public anger over the extortionate landing fee increases.

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I am a Kiwi who has lived abroad (in Asia) for over 7 years. I go through many airports and never have to pay any surprise LEAVING TAX, just before I am getting set to queue for immigration, customs and any other requirements. Whenever I travelled through Auckland airport, I'd suddenly have to divert all the usual leaving requirements, to do one more - unique to NZ: The dreaded leaving tax. Seriously, when I'm back in NZ, I spend a lot of $$ on gifts, and then get zocked again for the mysterious 'leaving tax'… It always left a bad taste in my mouth, and I've heard THOUSANDS of overseas visitors complaining about it as 'New Zealand being greedy - just before we go'. The tax was a nightmare for NZ international public relations and tourism. Even worse, - people had to line-up at a totally different part of the airport, among all other immigration requirements. As a Kiwi, I truly felt ashamed of the tax, every time I heard a visitor complaining of 'greedy New Zealanders'.

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Because the LEAVING TAX is collected by the airline by making it part of the ticket price.

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I went to check online for departure tax cost, expecting it had gone up, thats a $100 odd dollars less I'll need to spend before departure.

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