AVIATION

Airfares Up as Airport Price Hikes Hit Home

Thursday 25 October 2012, 7:01PM
By Air New Zealand
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Air New Zealand is reducing capacity into Gisborne as a result of the local airport’s decision to increase landing fees by 106% from December 1.

Group General Manager Australasia Bruce Parton says many of the Gisborne services are already marginal from a financial perspective and the decision of the local airport to place a further cost burden on the airline and its customers will make some services unsustainable in future.

“While Gisborne is an important route on the Air New Zealand regional network, we have been struggling to break even on many of our services for a considerable time.  Gisborne Airport’s decision to increase user charges by 106% from 1 December means we will have to increase fares by an average of $8 per return journey.  This will the have the impact of reducing tourist numbers and will see some services become uneconomic.  As a result we will reduce capacity from Wellington and Auckland to Gisborne,” Mr Parton says.

“Sadly, Gisborne Airport plans further airport user charge increases of 5% in each of the next two years.  This will make Gisborne one of the most expensive domestic airports Air New Zealand flies to.”

Mr Parton says Air New Zealand has been actively engaged in discussion with Gisborne Airport over concerns that the increases will force tourists away.