24 Jul 2009

Travel slump continues to hit Air NZ

3:09 pm on 24 July 2009

A slump in air travel continues to hit Air New Zealand, with patronage falling across the board.

The airline carried 1.1 million people in June, a decrease of 6% on the same period a year ago.

It has also cut flights to reduce costs, resulting in its planes being 80% full.

International passenger numbers are down 14%. The swine flu pandemic has hit travellers from Japan particularly hard, forcing Air New Zealand to combine flights from Osaka and Tokyo.

Trans-Tasman visitors fell 7%, while domestic patronage declined 3%.

The airline's yields rose 0.8% for the year to June after excluding currency movements.

Airlines are struggling worldwide. It is estimated the aviation industry will lose $US9 billion this year, on top of $US10 billion in losses last year.