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Flying to New Zealand must remain competitive

Airports share airline concerns at the overall increase in the cost of flying to New Zealand.

NZ Airports chief executive Kevin Ward says airports and airlines have regularly pointed out to Government agencies that escalating government charges and levies at the border make New Zealand less competitive as a destination.

"During periods of good growth it has been easy for agencies to regard tourists as an easy source of revenue for their border services. We agree with airlines and tourism businesses that recent increases in levies and taxes are a headwind the country could do without when conditions get more difficult – like now," says Kevin.

The major international airports in New Zealand have not increased their real per passenger charges for several years. Charges for international passengers range from about $13 to $23. Christchurch and Auckland Airports will not be re-looking at their charges until 2023 and Wellington Airport is consulting on prices now.

"Tourism is a global business and New Zealand has to compete for every visitor. We support the airlines’ call for the Government to look hard at the impact of its own border levies on travel costs," says Kevin.

The traveller experiences the joined-up impact of all the different cost elements in their journey, said Mr Ward, and airports support good data collection, transparency reporting right through aviation, so that the total picture is clear to travellers and decision-makers.

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