2 March 2012
Wellington Airport is pleased to confirm the removal of the International Departure Fee for passengers from 1 April 2012.
“Improving the traveller experience is important to us and removing the departure fee will make it easier for all passengers travelling internationally. Taking away the need to join the queue and pay the fee is a big step forward,” said Chief Executive Officer, Steve Sanderson.
The International Departure Fee, known to many as the Departure Tax, has been in place at Wellington Airport for over 20 years.
After a year of extensive consultation with airlines and the Board of Airline Representatives, Wellington Airport issued its final pricing document today containing the charges airlines will pay for using the Airport’s facilities and infrastructure for the next five years from 1 April 2012. The removal of the International Departure Fee is part of the final pricing document.
The new prices ensure that travel to and from Wellington is competitive, with international charges set to reduce by 39% over the five year period. The reduction in international charges combined with incentives for growth is expected to help promote new routes and additional services to the Capital.
“With the added benefits of its central city location, the final prices place Wellington’s charges in between Auckland and Christchurch Airports and in the lower range of Australasian Airports in terms of cost per passenger for the five year period” said Mr Sanderson. “This is a productive and workable outcome for airlines, passengers and our shareholders, which include all Wellington City ratepayers.”
The Airport has also confirmed its plan to invest $65m in aeronautical assets over the five-year period. Following the opening of the Airport’s dual use terminal, The Rock, which has been ranked 4th best in the world, the next significant capital development will be the Southern Terminal expansion. This will provide increased gate lounge space and new toilets. The expansion of the Southern Apron will increase aircraft capacity to accommodate growth.
“The new price structure means international charges will reduce by $1.72 per passenger each year in real terms. Domestic charges will increase on average by 74c each year. Overall, the average fees per passenger will increase by 41c or 3.6% per year in real terms,” said Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Clarke.
The Airport Authorities Act provides a legal framework for the Airport to set sufficient price levels every five years to operate the Airport and provide a fair return on the funds invested to Infratil’s 16,000, mainly New Zealand, shareholders and Wellington City ratepayers. The Airport Authorities Act legislation was retained in Parliament’s recent consideration of the Commerce Act. The Airport’s financial returns will be reviewed by the Commerce Commission in 2012.