Air New Zealand, whose chief executive Rob Fyfe will leave at the end of the year, reported a 4.3 per cent decline in long-haul passenger numbers last month.

Long-haul total passengers carried fell to 149,000 in January from 156,000 in the same month a year earlier, with a 5.5 per cent decline passengers on the North America/UK route to 88,000 and a 2.7 per cent fall in numbers on the Asia/Japan/UK route to 62,000.

The airline blamed the impact from the Canterbury and Japan earthquakes for declining numbers of Japanese routes.

The shares fell 3.4 per cent to a month-low 86.5 cents in trading today.
Domestic passenger numbers were flat at 583,000, while Tasman/Pacific numbers fell 1.4 per cent to 248,000. The group's passenger numbers fell 1 per cent to 980,000 in the month, and were down 0.7 per cent to 7.73 million in the financial year-to-date.


Auckland-based Air New Zealand told analysts and investors in November it's aiming for a $110 million profit improvement by 2015 from long-haul flights, which are now an under-performing part of the company.

Total revenue passenger kilometres fell 1.3 per cent to 2,334 million, while capacity, or available seat kilometres was flag at 2.71 million.