Thursday, May 22, 2014

April Airport Anomalies

Cairns Airport posted their April traffic numbers today with continuation of the growth trend at the domestic terminal reported while the international remains weak.  An alternative source of information is 24.6% stakeholder Auckland International Airport (ASX: AIA) which reported April traffic data yesterday to the ASX with some differences in the numbers:

Source: Auckland International Airport
 
 
The Cairns Airport numbers in this summary table are rounded but they do also provide more precise figures however some differences here are beyond that. I have previously struggled with some aspects of the Cairns Airport reporting related to domestic passengers through the international terminal and presume this may be a source of the difference?
 
Anyway, Cairns Airport has provided more detailed commentary this month some of which does relate to that issue:
Total passenger numbers for Cairns Airport grew by almost 2% during April despite the impacts of Cyclone Ita which prevailed for 2-3 days of that month.
Domestic passenger numbers showed strong growth, continuing the trend which saw Cairns Airport achieve the fastest domestic growth of Australia’s 8 busiest airports during 2013. Highlights for domestic services included the introduction of Tigerair’s Brisbane – Cairns route in mid April and additional seasonal flights on their Melbourne – Cairns route. Jetstar transferred their Darwin – Cairns service from a T1 (international) to a T2 (domestic) operation.
International passenger numbers continue to be impacted by the contraction of China Eastern’s Shanghai – Cairns route to a seasonal service as well as the move to four Hong-Kong - Cairns direct flights per week, lower capacity on Air Nuigini’s Port Moresby service and the change of terminal for the Darwin – Cairns flights.
An average of 25% of passengers travelling through Cairns Airports’ domestic terminal (T2) are international visitors. This reinforces the case for more direct international flights to and from Cairns. The Cairns Airport aeronautical development team are continually working with airlines, government, tourism and travel industry partners to secure air services from China and throughout South East Asia to convert some of these passengers to the Cairns international route network and provide more aviation access to help grow international visitor numbers for the region.

Note: The AIA numbers copied above also include Queenstown which may be an interesting comparison with Cairns and where international growth has been above 20%. I presume that would overwhelmingly be from Australia. AIA also reported strong April growth in numbers across the Tasman into the Auckland facility, again attributed to the later Easter. 
 
 
Update: Nick Dalton has two days later in the Weekend Post: Overseas passenger numbers plunge at Cairns Airport in April due to Tropical Cyclone Ita. This yarn nicely rewrites the summary from the airport posted above but there is something curious about the numbers:
Passenger figures fell by more than 12,000 to 29,290, a 29.2 per cent fall, compared to 41,391 in April last year.
Yes, these are the numbers released to ASX by Auckland International Airport posted above and not the numbers from Cairns Airport. A visit from the News Ltd server was noted at 11:07:23 yesterday morning.

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