Air NZ criticises airport fee hikes

John Palmer. Photo / Richard Robinson
John Palmer. Photo / Richard Robinson

Wellington Airport, owned by Infratil and the capital city's holding company, has extracted $100 million in excessive profits with its most recent price increases for airport services, says its biggest customer, Air New Zealand.

"Wellington Airport is certainly the most aggressive airport," outgoing chief executive Rob Fyfe said after appearing before Parliament's finance and expenditure committee where he told MPs landing fees in aggregate were set to rise by $200 million over the next five years.

"It's a very significant cost to our business." Fyfe said. "In Wellington alone over the next five years the aeronautical revenue will increase by 54 per cent."

The airline made the estimate of excessive profit by the company in a letter to the Commerce Commission last month after the regulator said it had agreed to give the airport company two weeks longer to respond to a section 56G review of its disclosure under regulations covering airport services.

The regulator is required to report to the commerce and transport ministers as soon as possible after airports reset their prices.

Wellington has done so, while Auckland and Christchurch airports plan to do so this year.

Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said Wellington's charges were not aggressive relative to the market as a whole.

- BusinessDesk

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