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Long-haul woes drive drop in Air New Zealand's traffic

Air New Zealand (ANZ) continues to grow traffic in the domestic and short-haul international markets while its long-haul business shows some signs of struggling.

RPKs at ANZ for Mar-2011 were up 7.2% in the domestic market and 7.7% on short-haul international routes, which includes Australia and the South Pacific islands. But RPKs on long-haul routes to Asia, including London via Hong Kong, were down 15.2% while RPKs on North America routes, including London via Los Angeles, were down 0.6%. System-wide, RPKs were down 0.5% and the group’s load factor dropped 2.9 percentage points as capacity was up by 3.1%

The 11-Mar-2011 earthquake partly drove the drop on Asian routes but even excluding Japan there was a 2.9% drop in RPKs and a 2.4 percentage point decline in average load factor on Asian routes. Including Japan, the Mar-2011 load factor on Asian routes including London via Hong Kong was 77.6%, down seven percentage points from Mar-2010.

Air New Zealand Revenue Passenger Kilometres (Long-haul, Asia/Japan/UK) (2009 to 2011)

Air New Zealand Passenger Load Factor (Long-haul, Asia/Japan/UK) (2009 to 2011)


On routes to North America including London via Los Angeles, average load factors were down three percentage points to 80.1% as capacity was up 4.4%.

Air New Zealand Revenue Passenger Kilometres (Long-haul, North America/UK) (2009 to 2011)

Air New Zealand Passenger Load Factor (Long-haul, North America/UK) (2009 to 2011)

Load factor was also down slightly on short-haul international routes, slipping 1.8 percentage points to 78.9% as a 10.1% surge in capacity outstripped the 7.7% increase in RPKs. Mar-2011 marked the first month ANZ has recorded a slip in load factors on its Tasman and Pacific Island routes since Apri-2010. Both traffic and capacity on ANZ’s Tasman and Pacific Island routes have been up every month since Jul-2010, according to CAPA's online airline traffic database.

Air New Zealand Revenue Passenger Kilometres (Short-haul, Tasman/Pacific Islands) (2009 to 2011)

Air New Zealand Passenger Load Factor (Short-haul, Tasman/Pacific Islands) (2009 to 2011)

On domestic routes, load factor improved by 1.6 percentage points in Mar-2011 to 83.4% as the 7.2% RPK increase outpaced the 5.1% capacity increase. ANZ has now recorded year-on-year increases in its domestic load factor for 14 of the last 15 months. ANZ’s domestic load factor has been at least 78.9% for 16 consecutive months and has been at least 81.9% for seven consecutive months. In comparison, in 2009 ANZ's domestic load factor was below the 80% market every month.

Air New Zealand Passenger Load Factor (Short-haul, Domestic) (2009 to 2011)

Air New Zealand Revenue Passenger Kilometres (Short-haul, Domestic) (2009 to 2011)

Total passenger numbers at ANZ is on the rise due to the growth in the short-haul operation. ANZ carried 1.295 million passengers in Mar-2011, up 4.3% from a Mar-2010. ANZ’s monthly passenger count has been up every month since June-2010.

Air New Zealand Passenger Numbers (2009 to 2011)