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OCTOBER/NOVEMBER VOLUME 26: ISSUE 10 WWW.WBN.CO.NZ FACEBOOK.COM/WAIKATOBUSINESSNEWS Hamilton Airport flying high A four-star hotel refurbishment in the planning, extended parking, extra flights, a dividend paid for the second year in a row - Hamilton Airport is on a roll. Rebecca Corbett and Mark Morgan say the Hamilton Airport is strategically placed for further growth. PUMPING Fuel firm Waitomo in expansion phase P3 BEST IN BUSINESS Top Waikato award winners announced P15 By RICHARD WALKER It’s a stark contrast to six years ago when international flights were pulled from the airport and passenger numbers stagnated. That was followed by Air NZ dropping its Hamilton-Auckland service in 2016, leaving direct flights only to Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch. And yet, just over two years after the last Auckland flight, numbers are rising at a rate above the regional average over the past 12 months, and strategic buying and selling in wholly owned property arm Titanium Park is further boosting Waikato Regional Airport Ltd’s profit. The year ending June 30 saw passenger growth of 11 percent, with a total of 352,614 passengers, after a rise the previous year of 5 percent. A number of factors are driving the turnaround, including growth in the Waikato population, the state of the regional economy, tourism and boosted flight capacity. Hamilton has seen Air New Zealand significantly lift capacity over the past two years, airport chief executive Mark Morgan says. The company’s ditching of its Beech 19-seaters in favour of larger planes has also had an impact. “We have increased frequency and also larger aircraft, both adding up to more capacity on the route,” he says. “But of course, we want to see that Continued on page 10 THE NEW JAGUAR E-PACE DRIVE LIKE EVERYONE’S WATCHING $69,900 PLUS ON ROAD COSTS* THE ART OF PERFORMANCE Duncan & Ebbett *E-PACE D150. Model shown is First Edition. Price shown is Maximum Retail Price (MRP). 07 838 1211