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Airlines playing politics, say airports


Airlines playing politics, say airports

New Zealand faces huge challenges to build infrastructure to meet the tourist boom, and airlines need to get on board, says the New Zealand Airports Association (NZ Airports).

NZ Airports is a not-for-profit that represents 32 airports across the country.  With two small exceptions our members are either wholly or partly owned by ratepayers via their Councils. 

The association was responding to airline claims that its members are overcharging or providing poor quality services.

After marketing beautiful New Zealand to the world, airports, communities and the tourism sector all over the country are working with the Government to try to get essential visitor facilities built as soon as possible, said association chief executive Kevin Ward.

Auckland Airport is a case in point with a once-in-a-generation development programme to deal with huge numbers of arrivals.  Despite the challenges Auckland faces, airports in New Zealand are recognised by independent surveys for the quality of their customer services.

Right now, the Commerce Commission is reviewing Auckland’s charges for the next five years.  Other major airports will follow.

New Zealand has a great regulatory regime that works, and airlines should stop their carping and engage in the process, said Mr Ward.  New Zealand’s airports provide great value compared to their international peers.


“We note the Commission’s job is to work out what is in the best interests of consumers, including what is a fair rate of return for airports.


“We should let them get on with it and avoid the distraction of a bunch of Australian lobbyists who clearly don’t understand the Commerce Act.


“It’s a bit rich being criticised by airlines who are making record profits, facing limited domestic competition, cutting regional services, and who are charging domestic prices that have risen well above inflation for the last decade, said Mr Ward.