Record passengers drive half-year result for Christchurch Airport

Christchurch Airport is reporting an increased interim result, alongside record passenger numbers.

Total operating revenue for the six months to 31 December 2017 was $88.9 million, up $2.4m (2.8%) compared to the same period last year. Surplus after tax was $19.3 million, up $1.1m (5.8%) compared to the same period last year, allowing the Board to declare an interim dividend of $17.4 million, up $1 million (5.8%) on the same period last year.

Aeronautical revenue was $40.4 million, down 5%. Lower regulated returns on charges to airlines (as permitted by the Commerce Commission) drove this reduction and new airline pricing took effect from 1 July 17.

Non-aeronautical revenue was $48.5 million, up 10.3%, driven by record passengers spending in the terminal and new revenue streams from the on-going property development programme.

In spite of record passenger numbers, improved productivity lifted the net surplus up 5.8% compared to the same period last year. 

The six-month period saw total passenger movements increase by 168,021 (5.2%) to 3.41 million. Domestic passengers up 5.1% to 2.56 million and international passengers up 5.6% to 850,000.

December 2017 was the busiest single month on record, with 638,043 passengers passing through the airport. This was followed by a new all-time record for international passengers in a single month in January 2018, with a 6.8% year on year increase to 195,881.

This reflects strong increases from key markets such as Australia, China, SE Asia and Europe. China was particularly strong with 30% year on year growth for the six month period July to December, off the back of China Southern Airlines moving to daily services over summer and Cathay Pacific operating its inaugural summer services between Hong Kong and the South Island.

Summer 2017/18 has been very strong for the South Island's main gateway, particularly for international airline passengers. That has put Christchurch Airport on track (barring unforeseen events) to set a new annual passenger record for the third year in a row - likely to be somewhere around seven million passengers.