Christchurch Airport surprises a milestone passenger

Christchurch reached a significant post-quake milestone today, with its airport welcoming the six-millionth passenger in a year.


The last time Christchurch Airport reached the 6-million passenger mark was in October 2010, but today as Stephanie Simmons from Waimate checked in for a Jetstar flight to Auckland to celebrate her daughter's birthday, she became a lucky statistic.


Airport Chief Executive Malcolm Johns was on hand to congratulate Stephanie and present her with flowers and champagne, as well as $600 to pay for the short break she was about to take.


"We review our passenger statistics weekly and could see a couple of weeks ago that we were close to reclaiming the six million figure over a rolling year," Mr Johns says.


"Today is that day and undoubtedly a significant milestone for our airport, our city and our island.  As well as the purely statistical milestone, it reminds us that this airport remains the number one gateway to the South Island for international visitors and to the world for South Islanders.


"Christchurch Airport has seen airline seat numbers grow by 770,000 seats over the past year with strong growth coming from Taiwan (up 137%), China (up 37%), India (up 37%) and SE Asia (up 7%).


"This is great news for every region across the South Island because around 84% of international visitors who arrive into Christchurch go on to visit other regions in the South Island, driving an industry that supports more than 60,000 regional jobs."

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