International arrivals get a boost during June

Auckland Airport passenger numbers boosted by Chinese visitors, while Queenstown Airport hits one million milestone.

Auckland International Airport [NZX: AIA] international passenger numbers have increased again last month, boosted by Chinese visitors.

The airport’s traveller statistics for June, released today, show international passengers were up 7.2% compared to the same month last year, with particularly strong growth on North American routes, up 15.4%.

Over the year to June 30, international passenger numbers were up 5.7% on the previous year, transit passengers were up 6.7% and domestic passengers were up 4.2%

Non-resident visitor arrivals to Auckland for the year to June 30 were up 7.7% on the previous year. The largest increases came from China, up 28.8% with 65,441 more arrivals than the previous year, the US up 10.6% with 17,820 more arrivals and Australia, up 2.3% with 17,257 more arrivals.

Airport management says the growth has been driven by capacity increases across most regions, with the most growth on the China, Japan and transtasman routes.

However, passenger numbers from the United Kingdom, Singapore and India were down on the month before, by 9.6%, 8.2% and 0.1% respectively.

The airport’s subsidiary, Queenstown Airport, set a new milestone in June, with more than one million domestic passengers passing through the airport in a year.

Its international passenger numbers were 38.9% higher in June than the same month the year before, which airport management says was mainly driven by capacity growth on the Sydney and Gold Coast routes.

International aircraft landings at Queenstown increased 31% and domestic passenger volumes increased 5.2%.

Auckland Airport recently changed over its duty-free retail providers from DFS and JR Duty Free, to LS Travel Retail and Aer Rianta International.

The airport anticipates the new duty-free retailers will add an extra $5 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the 2016 financial year.

The stock is at $5.33, having increased 46.3% in the past year.