Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) says uncertainty lies ahead

Company News

by Melissa Darmawan

New Zealand’s largest and busiest airline hub Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) is maintaining its prudent approach to financial management while it prepares for international passenger recovery after New Zealand’s vaccination programme is rolled out for the remainder of the calendar year.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said recent community outbreaks in Australia and the risk posed to a largely unvaccinated population by COVID-19 strains are denting passenger confidence in travel beyond COVID-free destinations.

“Domestic and Cook Islands passenger demand is strong but international travel numbers remain at historically low levels,” he said.
The establishment of safe travel arrangements with Australia has already triggered a scaling up of operations at the international terminal, plus some outsourced operations, including airside and landside bussing, car parking, valet and cleaning.

These operations, plus the initiation of accelerated repairs and maintenance while many of our aeronautical facilities are running below normal occupancy levels, are anticipated to result in operating costs being in the range of NZ$160 million to NZ$175 million in the 2022 financial year.

Following the NZ$65 million scheduled repayment in February this year, Auckland Airport has now prepaid the remaining NZ$425 million USPP borrowings.

Mr Littlewood said earnings guidance for the 2021 financial year is unchanged from the prior guidance with a loss after tax of between $35 million and $55 million.

Shares in Auckland Airport (ASX:AIA) are trading 1.04 per cent lower at $6.69.

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