The Government and local Councils, joint owners of Hawke’s Bay Airport, are stepping up with a loan of $9 million to see construction of the terminal completed, saving 200 jobs, direct and indirect, in the process.
The airport is an important regional asset that enables Hawke’s Bay to stay connected and supports the recovery of the domestic tourism and aviation sector.
Like other aviation businesses, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Hawke’s Bay Airport’s revenue – a 85% drop in May with near zero aeronautical activity during April, and seat capacity returning to less than 50% of the prior year during June, according to Stuart Ainslie, Airport chief executive.
“We see the drop in revenue as a short term issue. Within 18 to 24 months we see the airport will be back to profitability,” he says. (Barring a second Covid wave.)
“As a Government, we support investments that will help our regions and local economies continue their recovery and rebuild,” says Grant Robertson, finance minister.
The Crown has a 50% shareholding in Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited (HBAL), with Napier City Council holding 26% and Hastings District Council 24%. The former is lending up to $4.5 million on commercial terms, with the councils lending up to a further $4.5 million.