Airport profit holds despite fewer passengers

Christchurch International Airport made $19.6 million profit in the year to June, despite almost 450,000 fewer passengers visiting the airport compared with before the earthquakes.

That is down on the $21m profit for the year to June 2011.

The Christchurch City Council-controlled company made an operating profit after tax of $15.5m, and the rest of the net profit came from a positive revaluation of investment land due to four new commercial tenants being taken on during the year.

Airport chief executive Jim Boult said the operating profit was 30 per cent higher than forecast, and revenue was 15 per cent higher than last year. "We were quite pleased with that; it was way ahead of what we were budgeting."

The airport had hoped to attract 5.595 million passengers in the year, but managed only 5.551 million.

In 2010, the last full year before the quakes, just above six million passengers went through the airport. In 2011, that fell to 5.77 million.

In March, Air Asia X pulled the plug on its four weekly flights from Kuala Lumpur, costing the city about 118,000 passengers a year.