Wellington Airport bracing for big year

5 Apr 2017

Wellington Airport is bracing itself for a big year with significant events drawing crowds to the Capital set to tip annual passenger numbers over the six million milestone – two years earlier than forecast.

The number of travellers is expected to hit a peak in February with the Guns ‘n Roses concert and Black Caps versus South Africa cricket test and one-day match, adding to an already busy period with holiday and business travel.

“These types of big events on top of Wellington Airport’s recent passenger growth are just what we had in mind when we completed the new domestic terminal last year. We’re well prepared to handle these peaks and provide visitors to the Capital a great welcome and add to a smooth journey,” says Wellington Airport Chief Commercial Officer, Matt Clarke.

In 2008, Wellington Airport reached five million passengers and anticipated hosting six million in 2019.

Since then, numbers have soared and forecasts suggest the record six million passenger mark will be reached this year. Passenger numbers have been lifted by new Jetstar, Fiji Airways and Singapore Airlines routes, increases in capacity from both Air New Zealand and Qantas and new services from Sounds Air. Last year international passenger volumes grew by 16% to 900,000.

Later in the year, the airport is anticipating a significant increase in passenger flows, particularly the British and Irish Lions tour games in June/July and the Rugby League World Cup quarter final. The Airport is well versed in managing the rugby crowds, with one of its busiest days ever being after the quarter finals weekend of the Rugby World Cup 2011 with over 20,000 passengers passing through in one day.

“We work closely with the entire airport community to ensure the travel process is as smooth as possible during the busy times,” says Mr Clarke.

“There is a lot of building work underway in the airport car park so for those travellers who haven’t been out here in a while it would be a good idea to allow plenty of time to make their way around the temporary layout.”

Clarke also advised travellers wanting to make their journey as smooth as possible during the busy period, to take a few simple steps by going online ahead of their flights.

“Many of the things that tend to hold people up can be addressed online. So, check-in online ahead of time if possible and pre-book parking to guarantee a spot and cost savings. You can also check our website for flight times and the NZTA website for any traffic updates. Our Facebook and Twitter channels are also a great way for travellers to keep up to date.”

Upcoming Wellington events that will affect visitor numbers:

• 2 February – Guns n Roses

• 17 February – ANZ International Series Black Caps vs South Africa

• 27 June-1 July – British and Irish Lions

• 11-12 August – Beervana

• 11-27 August – Wellington on a Plate

• 21 September-8 October - World of Wearable Art® Awards Show

• 18 November - Rugby League World Cup quarter final

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