Auckland Airport said it handled 4.8 per cent more international passengers in January compared to a year earlier, but handled 7.8 per cent fewer domestic passengers.

The airport handled 687,996 international passenger movements, excluding transits, in January, up from 656,380 in the previous January.

It handled 449,022 domestic passengers, down from 486,779 in the same month last year.

Short-haul traffic was strong with Australian markets growing by 8.4 per cent and Pacific Island markets by 3.8 per cent.

The airport said that China Airlines started international services to Auckland on January 2. The new service added 10 Airbus 330 and two Airbus 340 landings.

- NZPA