Air New Zealand cargo revenues increased 29% to NZ$482m year on year during the first half of its financial year. “Our cargo operation has been outstanding throughout the pandemic and continues to play an essential role in connecting New Zealand to the world. Cargo revenue increased by 29% to $482m for this first half compared to the same period in 2021,” noted chair Dame Therese Walsh.
However, she added: “It would be easy to think the first year of the pandemic had the biggest impact on Air New Zealand’s finances. However, only the final quarter of the 2020 financial year was impacted, and in the 2021 financial year the airline was able to access relief support from the Government through various subsidies, PAYE deferrals, and cargo support schemes.
“The domestic network largely kept flying across the 2021 financial year and the trans-Tasman and Cook Islands bubbles gave a real boost to the second half of 2021. The 2022 financial year has and will continue to be much more heavily impacted, both by continued suppressed demand and rising costs.”
Robust cargo volumes were supported by the extension of the New Zealand Government’s Maintaining International Air Connectivity (MIAC) scheme and the Australian Government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) scheme, said the airline.
Overall, Air New Zealand reported a statutory loss before taxation of NZ$376m for the six-month period ended December 31, 2021. The result reflects the substantial impact the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have on the airline. This compares to a statutory loss before taxation of NZ$105m for the same period last year.
Continued restrictions on international travel, the national lockdown which commenced in August 2021, and the extended period of travel restrictions for the Auckland region saw the airline’s operating revenue decline 9% to NZ$1.1bn in the period. Passenger flying was down 26% from the corresponding period in the financial year 2021 and was down 84% compared to pre-Covid levels.