• Images: Air New Zealand

22.02.2024 By: Andreas Haug

Artikel Nummer: 48448

Kiwis can fly

Air New Zealand and the national economy after the pandemic. Air New Zealand exported 30,000 t of goods by air in the first full calendar year after the end of Covid-19-induced travel restrictions, which were particularly drastic there. A recent study shed light on how important aviation operations are for the national economy.

Last year, Air New Zealand Cargo transported 708 kiwis, 104 guinea pigs, 8 capybaras, 8 geese and 1 scorpion.

There’s some anecdotal value to this list, but it simultaneously illustrates the role transporting live animals, and even more so hauling animal products, plays for the country. It covers an area 6.5 times the size of Switzerland, which its 5 million inhabitants share with 10 million cattle and 25 million sheep.

Exporting goods from the island state, which is 2,000 km across the sea from its main trading partner Australia, is only possible by sea and by air.

Although air transport accounts for only about 0.2% of the country’s exports by weight, it handles approximately 15.1% thereof by value. This fact is revealed by a study commissioned by Air New Zealand and conducted by the consultancy Sense Partners. The paper examines the airline’s overall influence on the economy, which is now recovering from the pandemic and once again growing.

Exports worth NZD 3.3 billion

The study ascertained that Air New Zealand is the second-most important firm in the country in terms of adding value – after a dairy industry player (of course!).

Air New Zealand’s role is underlined by the more than 130,000 jobs that it supports in tourism and the import / export sector – 5.6% of the country’s workforce.

As for freight, in 2023 the carrier exported goods worth NZD 3.3 billion (EUR 1.88 billion). One third of this was accounted for by high-value goods transported exclusively by air, including gold.

For the rest, the speed and reliability of air services are the deciding factor – even if the costs are six times higher than for transport by ship, on average. The value of goods imported by Air New Zealand came to EUR 3.25 billion.

Air transport also plays an important role domestically, with 51% express and 30% perishables consignments.

Planes are 80-90% faster than trucks on these routes, securing connections to the international hubs in Auckland on the North Island and Christchurch on the South Island.


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