Auckland Airport is scrapping the international departure fee paid by passengers leaving New Zealand but the move is likely to see ticket prices rise.
The $25 fee is being replaced with a passenger services charge to be levied on airlines, which could pass the cost directly on to passengers in the form of higher fares. From July the new charge will be $13 per arrival and $13 per departure. It will increase by 50c per year for two years making the total fee $28 by 2010.
Auckland Airport chief executive Don Huse said the new fee would speed things up.
"Airport and airline customers have been telling us for some time that the old departure fee process was a genuine hassle.
"We are now looking forward to taking the old collection process link out of the chain from July and simplifying travel for everyone.
"It will improve facilitation through to departure. It will be one thing less to worry about. It will reduce traveller processing time through Customs. Airline passengers will have a much easier and more streamlined departure experience."
He said this change would bring the airport in line with other major gateways around the world.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton welcomed the move.
"Removing the old departure fee process will help to bring Auckland Airport into line with other major airports worldwide," he said.
"It will help ease the departure process for international visitors who come to New Zealand every year."By Alanah Eriksen @AlanahEriksen Email Alanah, Alanah May Eriksen