Staff at Air New Zealand are in line for bonuses with the airline posting record before tax earnings of $NZ496 million, up 49.4%.
Statutory net profit was up 24.3% to $NZ327 million and operating cash flow up by half to $NZ1.1 billion.
The key drivers of the result were strong demand with passenger revenue up 6.8%, cargo sales up 10.5% an lower lower fuel costs.
CEO Christopher Luxon says the airline is focused on the Pacific Rim as a growth strategy.
“Next year will see further capacity growth in international markets as we look forward to new
routes starting in December 2015 to Houston and Buenos Aires,” he says.
“And while we are gearing up to launch these exciting new routes we have a team assessing potential new opportunities in Australia, Asia and the Americas.”
Last year Air New Zealand set up a performance bonus scheme to allow all Air New Zealander staff to benefit from superior commercial results.
The latest results mean 8,000 staff who are not on other incentive programs will get payments of up to $1,400 next week.
Air New Zealand plans to increase capacity by 11% in 2016, including the two new international destinations and substantial domestic growth.
The airline booked a $NZ29 million loss from its holding in Virgin Australia. However, Air New Zealand says it expects Virgin Australia to return to profit in 2016.
Last week Qantas announced a full year underlying profit of $975 million, reversing last year’s record $2.8 billion loss.
A fully imputed final ordinary dividend of 9.5 cents a share, an increase of 73%, was declared.