Airways, the state owned air traffic group, says operating profits almost doubled in the year to June 30, on growth in its international business.
The company, which provides both air traffic controlling services in New Zealand and the Pacific, as well as training services around the globe, said net operating profits after tax were $9.3 million in the year to June 30, up 98 per cent on the previous year.
In a statement Airways said the rise came from growth in its core air traffic control business, in its training division and new business developments in the Middle East, Asia and South Africa.
Chief executive Ed Sims, head of Air New Zealand's international business until last year, credited a contract in Saudi Arabia and business from its new Beijing office for most of the growth.
"While our core domestic air traffic control role and safety will always be of prime importance, we know that to achieve growth in the future we will need to look at developing products and services for international markets," Sims said.
"Our core air navigation service revenue grew by stimulating a more cost effective operating environment for our airline customers. With fuel at a new norm above $100 per barrel, optimised flight planning, which reduces fuel burn and has saved our airline customers millions of dollars, has become more critical than ever.''
A drop in airline capacity, rising fuel prices and global economic uncertainty made the outlook for the year ahead ''challenging'' Sims said.
Wellington-headquartered Airways, which has most of its staff based in Christchurch, controlled 1.1 million air traffic movements in the year to June 30.
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