International visitor arrivals at Auckland International Airport increased by 16 per cent to more than 171,400 in July, mainly due to a 25 per cent increase in holiday arrivals.
AIA yesterday released its July monthly traffic update which showed seat capacity additions across all key regions had helped drive the growth, accommodating stronger demand during the traditionally lower winter season.
Auckland airport's tourism marketing campaign "Four seasons; Five senses'' was also helping to create demand and fill the capacity throughout the year, the company said.
The marketing campaign was helping support tourism operators, travel agents and airlines to promote "outstanding" New Zealand seasonal travel experiences.
United States visitor arrivals were up 36.2 per cent in July, the monthly update showed.
AIA said the growth was stimulated by an additional 11 weekly return services to the US in July, including American Airlines' daily Los Angeles service and United Airlines' three-flights-per-week San Francisco service.
Arrivals to New Zealand from the mid-west and east coast states were up 76.1 per cent in July as a result of the increased connectivity through those two west coast airline hubs, as well as Air New Zealand's five-flights-per-week Houston service.
Air NZ, which will report its annual financial results on Friday, said in a statement it carried 1.26 million passengers during July, an increase of 6.5 per cent compared to the previous corresponding period.
Long-haul passenger numbers increased 9.8 per cent when compared to July last year with demand up 11.1 per cent and capacity up 13.5 per cent. Load factor on long-haul routes was 85.2 per cent, down 1.8 per cent.
On the Americas and United Kingdom routes, demand increased 12.1 per cent and capacity increased 14.8 per cent due to the Auckland-Houston and Auckland-Buenos Aires routes. Those increases were partially offset by reduced frequency on the Auckland-Los Angeles route, Air NZ said.
On the Asia, Japan and Singapore routes, demand increased 9.5 per cent and capacity increased by 11.2 per cent due to the start of the seasonal Auckland-Ho Chi Minh City route.
Auckland airport reported international passengers, excluding transit passengers, increased by 13.3 per cent to 791,077 in July compared with July last year. This includes New Zealanders travelling.
The 92,000 increase was driven by the Americas (up 31.2 per cent), Asia and the Middle East (26.4 per cent) following the addition of four new services to each region in July this year.
Solid performances were also achieved by the Pacific (8.7 per cent) and Tasman (4.5 per cent) regions, both boosted by school holiday traffic and new airlines servicing Rarotonga, the Gold Coast and Cairns.
Queenstown Airport's passenger arrivals and departures continued to grow in July, AIA's figures showed. AIA has a stake in Queenstown Airport.
International passenger movements increased 6.4 per cent in July to 66,779 and were up 18.5 per cent in the year ended June to 478,807.
Total domestic passenger numbers increased 23.2 per cent in the month to 106,962 and they were up 19 per cent on the year to nearly 1.2 million. There were 553 international aircraft movements through Queenstown in July, up 8 per cent, and 826 domestic aircraft movements, up 3.3 per cent.
The 3679 international aircraft movements in the year to July were up 15.3 per cent on the pcp and the nearly 9000 domestic aircraft movements in the year to July were up 13.3 per cent.