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International traffic drives Adelaide’s “solid” result

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 5, 2013
A file image of Adelaide Airport.
A file image of Adelaide Airport.

Adelaide Airport Ltd has produced a “solid” result for its 2012-13 financial year, with increased revenue and profit driven by a 15.5 per cent rise in international traffic.

The arrival of Emirates a year ago, with initially four direct flights between Adelaide and Dubai, and increasing to daily services last February, was a major factor in the strong international performance.

Emirates is claiming a high 80 per cent average seat factor with its 360-passenger Boeing 777-300ER. Its inaugural year was helped by the withdrawal of partner Qantas from international services through Adelaide.

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Incumbent carriers Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Air New Zealand increased their passenger capacity over the past year, AAL chairman John Ward said. And this month, Air AsiaX began services between Adelaide and Kuala Lumpur, operating four return flights a week initially to offer more growth opportunities for the airport.

Total international capacity jumped by 245,00 seats, or 27 per cent, and total overseas passenger numbers rose from about 660,700 in the previous year to 763,000 in 2012-13.

Domestic traffic rose a more moderate 2.9 per cent to 6 million passengers, as Qantas and Virgin increased capacity and Tigerair renewed Adelaide services, and regional airlines carriage gained 1.2 per cent to 608,600. Managing director Mark Young said the flat regional performance resulted from a slow-down in the mining sector, particularly the deferral by BHP Billiton of the huge Olympic Dam expansion project.

The overall passenger performance was an increase of 3.9% to almost 7.38 million passengers.

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On the revenue side, income from aviation and commercial operations rose from $146 million to $158.4 million.

With completion of the $100 million multi-storey car park and adjoining pedestrian plaza, and a new headquarters for the Australian Federal Police at the airport, the fair value of investment properties rose by $11.3 million, helping to take earning before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITA) up from $88.9 million to $102.9 million.

Net profit after tax increased from $4.6 million in the previous year to $10.5 million.

John Ward, who took over as chairman in August following the death of David Munt, said the past financial year had been one of the most significant in the life of AAL, in terms of aviation and infrastructure projects.

The airport had broken into new markets, particularly the Middle East following the start of Emirates services., he said. This had opened up several one-stop options to destinations in Europe, Africa, South America and the east coast of the US.

International growth was the clear stand-out but overall performance had been solid and continued the strong role the airport played in generating jobs and investment in Adelaide.

He described the outlook as “stable”.

Mark Young said the arrival of Emirates in Adelaide and increased capacity by other airlines “bodes well for our long-term future”.

The successes of the past year provided a springboard for further growth, as AAL sought to establish Adelaide as a top-tier airport business centre in the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

Meanwhile, AAL’s general aviation airport at Parafield underwent further development. Its major client, flying school Flight Training Adelaide, took delivery of two more simulators to train pilots for Airbus A320 operations.

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