Uplink ALPA - The Voice of Aviation

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots' Association Newsletter. As of April 2020 Uplink ALPA is a 6-monthly publication.

New Zealand hits record air traffic volumes in 2017

Air traffic volumes in New Zealand reached record levels over summer as the aviation industry experienced a period of exceptional growth.

Airways New Zealand saw an 11 per cent increase in air traffic volumes from last year, 18 per cent up on two years ago. Air traffic volumes are based on a combination of the number of aircraft movements, aircraft weights and distances flown.

The rise in volume is due to both domestic and international traffic. In the past year Airways reported the number of jet aircraft movements had increased by nine per cent, an extra 315 jet movements a week nationwide.

Over half of these (57 per cent) were from flights coming in and out of Auckland Airport.
International growth was largely driven by flights to and from Asia, with an additional 87 flights per week arriving from the region compared to a year ago.

The growth in domestic volume is being driven by Jetstar’s regional expansion and the replacement of Air New Zealand’s Beech 1900 fleet with heavier aircraft.

“Aside from a short spike during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, jet aircraft movements haven’t reached these levels since 2008, ahead of the worst impacts of the Global Financial Crisis,” Airways CEO Ed Sims said.

“Over this time, airlines have progressively consolidated their fleets to larger aircraft meaning there are now more passengers and goods being transported throughout our airspace than ever before.

“The Asia-Pacific region in particular is experiencing unprecedented levels of air traffic growth – this is great news for New Zealand which benefits from greater tourism and trade over the long term.”

The current high levels of air traffic are expected to continue over the coming period and, although a sign of a buoyant economy, NZALPA is doing its part to help members cope with any specific pressure they may be experiencing from these increases.

  • If you or anyone you work with feels under pressure or is concerned at work, please don’t hesitate to contact NZALPA’s Peer Assistance Network coordinators Mark Mehlhopt (0274 751 709) or Andy Pender (027 464 4032) or

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