Since the economic deregulation of New Zealand's domestic air transport market in the 1980s that, among other things, permitted ninth freedom cabotage, the government has not collected passenger movement statistics directly from the airlines. The three major airport companies, however, have been obliged to publish total domestic passenger numbers and this should give a comprehensive picture of trends. With the exception of an Air New Zealand Hamilton (HLZ) - Palmerston North (PMR) sector, virtually all major domestic airline services in New Zealand originate, terminate or pass through Auckland (AKL), Wellington (WLG) and/or Christchurch UPDATED (CHC) airports.
With a wish to see what impact the 10 June 2009 switch from Qantas to its subsidiary Jetstar will have on the overall New Zealand domestic passenger market, I have completed a couple of graphs through to May 2009 as a benchmark.
Note that Pacific Blue commenced domestic operations on 12 November 2007 (see previous post) which, as the following graph shows, clearly stimulated the market.
The second graph compares the percentage change between the month concerned and the corresponding month for the prior year.
The data sources for these graphs are available here for AKL, here for WLG and here for CHC. Unfortunately AKL and CHC airport companies have not made historic monthly data available on their web sites.