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.