Passenger numbers at Hawke's Bay Airport have surged in the first half of the financial year.
There were 32,500 more passengers using the aiport in the first half year ending December 31 than over the same period the year before. The 13.5 per cent jump in passenger numbers were also 11.3 per cent above at 270,511.
The recently released Hawke's Bay Airport Interim Report exceeded the company's projections across passenger numbers, revenue and profitability, Hawke's Bay Airport Company chairman Tony Porter said.
New airline services to the region, combined with increased income from landing charges, car parking and reduced operating costs, all contributed to the continued strong growth of the company.
Total revenue of $2,519,047 was 3.6 per cent above budget while profit after tax at $645,294 was 1.2 per cent above budget and increased by $23,809 on the same period the year before.
Shareholders were paid a dividend of $527,371. The Crown has a 50 per cent stake in the company, Napier City Council 26 per cent and Hastings District Council 24 per cent.
There were significant milestones during the half year including two new flight services starting in the region and a new caf opening.
Jetstar started passenger services between Hawke's Bay and Auckland in December, initially operating three arrivals and three departures a day, while Sounds Air launched its passenger service between Hawke's Bay and Blenheim in November, providing six return flights each week.
The new Kete Kai caf operated by Orton Tailored Cuisine opened in October and a new rental car valet and vehicle storage facility was completed, making way for the upcoming visitor car parking extension, Mr Porter said.
"With two new airlines commencing services within six weeks of each other it has been a busy and exciting time for the company. We are delighted that we are experiencing such strong growth and meeting the associated challenges on our infrastructure," he said.
"The terminal extension together with the development of the car parking facilities and the prospective new airport entranceway are our next areas of focus to ensure that we can accommodate the forecasted growth in passengers and provide them with a world class experience.
"The Airport Fire Station is also being developed and we will be looking at ways we can secure more tenants to the Business Park to optimise its value," Mr Porter said.