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Airlines call for Auckland Airport to improve passengers’ services

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Airlines are frustrated at the quality of service at Auckland Airport. Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ) says his members expect their passengers to have a high-quality experience at the airport, yet it is increasingly clear to the travelling public that they are getting a substandard service.

"For the national gateway for a $14.5 billion tourist economy to have increasingly long queues, exorbitant parking charges and even leaking roofs, it is not good enough," he says.

The comments from BARNZ, which represents 30 airline and aviation related companies, follow broadcaster Mike Hosking calling Auckland International Airport a "national embarrassment" and "an aviation version of a long-drop".

Mr Hosking’s comments unleashed a social media furore and a following online poll found 48% agreed with him while another 38% said the airport was alright but needed improvement.

Mr Tighe-Umbers says airlines and passengers pay more than $300 million a year for facilities at Auckland Airport.

"The airport may point to being caught off guard by extraordinary growth, but the truth is this is the result of underinvestment in facilities over years while the airport has provided 100% of underlying profits back to its shareholders," Mr Tighe-Umbers says.

"This is typical monopoly behaviour and clear evidence of why New Zealand needs a stronger regulatory regime covering airport monopolies."

  • Source: BRANZ