Plans for more regional routes promise boost in passenger options, says Littlewood.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood says the arrival of Jetstar on to regional routes will be a welcome boost for his company and passengers nationwide.

Although not a big part of the airport's total business, more regional flying by Jetstar will be an "interesting" feature of aviation.

Jetstar will announce next month up to four destinations it will fly in the regions and Auckland Airport is likely to be part of the new network for the Q300 Bombardier planes.

Air New Zealand has added new planes to its network after pulling out of three towns and has dropped lead-in fares sharply.


Littlewood said Jetstar's regional network would feed into its international network, which includes parent company Qantas and group partner Emirates. "I do think that's a big part of the story of how airlines work in alliances they form."

Jetstar would be able to give international tourists more options to go to other places.

"To have Jetstar and their alliance partners having onward services not just on the jet routes but also on the regional routes will make quite a difference. I'm interested in how that is going to play out," said Littlewood.

Jetstar is not saying where it will fly, with Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson and Invercargill in the running. Napier and Nelson are seen as frontrunners.

Littlewood said the airport was allocating more stands for turbo props serving the regions, which would benefit from healthy tourism growth. The airport on Monday released its full-year profit to June 30 in which underlying profit, which excludes some revaluations of property and derivatives, rose to $176.4 million, from $169.9 million a year earlier. Sales rose 6.9 per cent to $508.5 million. Underlying earnings per share were up 12.9 per cent to 14.82c a share.

Income rose 6.5 per cent to $93.3 million and the company also recorded increases in rental income.

Underlying annual earnings may rise as much as 8.3 per cent next year to $191 million.

Littlewood expanded on a review of "direction and strategy, including executive remuneration" which had led to the exit of chief financial officer Simon Robertson and general manager corporate affairs Charles Spillane.


"The review resulted in some changes in the long-term incentive scheme." The company was hiring fulltime replacements for the pair.

Where revenue's coming from

• Total revenue up 6.9% to $508.5 million in the year to June 30.
• Aeronautical revenue landing and passenger charges up by 6.9% to $234.2 million).
• Property rentals up by 8.9% to $64.6 million.
• Profit share from Queenstown Airport up 25.8% to $2.1 million.
• Profit share from North Queensland Airports down 9.8% to $7.2 million, reflecting a softening Australian economy.
• Profit from Novotel hotel up by 68.4% to $3.2 million.