New Zealand's Auckland Airport announced (18-Apr-2013) plans to increase international arrivals to between 3.4 and 4 million p/a by 2020, dependent on how aggressively the airport can meet demand and cater for market change. The airport increased its growth forecast in response to increased traffic from Asian markets, including China, Japan, Indonesia, India and Taiwan. The airport also launched a NZD200,000 (USD169,000) marketing competition to develop strategies for emerging Asian markets. Auckland Airport GM aeronautical commercial Glenn Wedlock said, "If New Zealand is ambitious, visitor arrivals could increase by almost 60% across the period 2012 - 2020, allowing the industry to reach a potential 4 million arrivals by the end of 2020. This represents an increase of almost 1.5 million arrivals and could see total international and domestic traffic within New Zealand climb well above 20 million passengers by 2020. However, we must look to capture an increasing share of high opportunity target (HOT) markets such as China, Brazil, India and Indonesia." [more - original PR - I] [more - original PR - II]
Auckland Airport to increase international arrivals to 4 million by 2020
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Gulf airlines in Australia/New Zealand: 2017 could surpass 2016's record growth
Qatar Airways' casual remark in Jan-2016 that it would launch nonstop service to Auckland has resulted in nearly two years of accelerated growth as competitors look to pre-empt Qatar. That, in turn, is driving Qatar to build its presence in Australia and New Zealand – which is disproportionately small compared to the presence of Emirates and Etihad. In Feb-2017 Qatar will finally launch nonstop service to Auckland, making that air service the world's longest flight. After the launch of flights to Australia's secondary city of Adelaide in May-2016, Qatar intends to open service to another smaller market – Canberra.
2016 was the most prominent year for Gulf airlines growing in Australia and New Zealand. Excluding Qatar's proposed Canberra service, and other services under consideration, 2017 will be the third largest year for growth, but depending on how commercial and aeropolitical matters evolve, 2017 could surpass 2016 for growth. So far, there will be more absolute growth from Qatar than Emirates in 2017, by comparison with 2016.
In Australia/NZ Gulf airlines have doubled their presence between 2012 and 2017. In Australia/New Zealand, by 2020, Gulf airlines could create the presence of two Singapore Airlines, an operation which established itself over many decades. Gulf growth has broader implications as their mostly European traffic flows challenge historical Australia-Europe hubs in Asia.
United Airlines reduces seasonal capacity in the competitive US-New Zealand/Australia market
After rapid growth in the market between North America and Australia/New Zealand, an airline has finally blinked: United Airlines will change its sole New Zealand service, San Francisco-Auckland, to only operate seasonally. United will rely on its JV partner Air New Zealand.
Auckland is less important for United than for American Airlines and its codeshare (but not JV) partner Qantas. Qantas has exited the Auckland-Los Angeles market, so American's entry to New Zealand gives it two nonstops from both Australia and New Zealand, enhancing presence across the region and making it easier to bring American visitors to both Australia and New Zealand.
United's adjustment to a seasonal service will mean that the New Zealand-North America (excluding Hawaii) market will expand by a reduced 10% instead of 17%. Even with this downward change there will be 17% more capacity than in the previous record year of 2008.