Akl Airport boss says problems plaguing travellers being fixed

Sun, May 28

Auckland Airport's chief executive has promised that the problems plaguing travellers through the terminal are going to be fixed.

The airport, with both domestic and international terminals, has been under immense pressure since the borders opened again post-Covid.

Carrie Hurihanganui told Q+A's Jack Tame that there were growing pains to the sudden re-emergence of air travel.

"We've seen the capacity and demand bounce back, which is fantastic. I think it's come back faster than anyone anticipated, and with that come some growing pains."

Hurihanganui said because of New Zealand's geographic position, "quite often we're the downstream receiver of those challenges", like bags not arriving alongside passengers.

She said labour shortages have been evident around the world, and "we're an ecosystem — if you drop a pebble, it ripples across."

As an example, Hurihanganui pointed to major storms in the US last year, which resulted in some bags not being loaded on planes to New Zealand.

"I am really pleased that for the last two or three months, mishandled bags, as we call them, are back to historic norms."

On complaints over long security lines in the domestic terminal, she said work has been underway with border security, and an additional lane had been put in.

"Just by getting dedicated focus on queue management, on timing, we are again getting to the point we want it to be.

"It hasn't been, to be honest, the service levels I want it to be, but we are making progress."

Auckland Airport is currently planning a multibillion-dollar investment in a terminal redevelopment, which has been in the works for about a decade.

Auckland Airport is currently planning a multi-billion dollar investment in a terminal redevelopment, which has been in the works for about a decade.

Part of that will be funded by an increase in landing fees, which will have flow on costs to customers in their ticket prices.

Hurihanganui said that while airlines have raised concerns, the landing fees are "starting from a really low base, and ultimately for airlines, how much they pass on is a question for them".

The new fees are going to be published in the coming weeks.

Q+A with Jack Tame is Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air


More Stories