28 May 2008
If you are leaving New Zealand from Auckland Airport on or after 1 July 2008 you will be delighted to learn you no longer need to pay a NZ$25 international departure fee.
This is as a result of the long awaited transition to a new departure fee collection process. This is all set to start in a month's time.
The departure fee is being replaced by a Passenger Services Charge (PSC). It will be levied by Auckland Airport on airlines, rather than travellers, based on the number of international arrivals and departures.
"Airport and airline customers have been telling us for some time that the old departure fee process was a genuine hassle." Auckland Airport chief executive Don Huse said, "We are now looking forward to taking the old collection process link out of the chain from July and simplifying travel for everyone."
"This change brings Auckland Airport into line with other major gateways around the world," said Huse. "It will improve facilitation through to departure. It will be one thing less to worry about. It will reduce traveller processing time through Customs. Airline passengers will have a much easier and more streamlined departure experience."
The travel and tourism industry has welcomed the move, with George Hickton, chief executive Tourism New Zealand saying, "Removing the old departure fee process will help to bring Auckland Airport into line with other major airports worldwide. It will help ease the departure process for international visitors who come to New Zealand every year. I am sure that will make their visit here even more enjoyable."
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the change to departure fees?
From 1 July 2008 travellers will no longer be required to pay an international departure fee at Auckland Airport. Historically, a charge has been paid by travellers via a $25 international departure fee at Auckland Airport. From 1 July a Passenger Services Charge (PSC) will be levied on airlines, rather than directly on travellers, based on the number of international arrivals and departures.
How much is the new levy?
The new PSC levy is $13 including GST. This levy will be payable for both departing and arriving travellers. It will increase by 50 cents (per international departure and arrival) each year for a further two years. All existing exemptions will still apply.
Why is Auckland Airport doing this?
This will bring Auckland Airport into line with common practice at other international airports around the world. It will greatly improve the departure process for departing travellers. Our market research consistently tells us that the current departure fee collection process is a major inconvenience for travellers.
When do the changes take place?
From 1 July 2008 the PSC will be levied on the airlines. From that date onwards travellers will not have to pay an international departure fee at Auckland Airport.
What happens to those travelling either side of 1 July 2008?
For travellers with itineraries that straddle 1 July 2008 there is little chance of them being overcharged or undercharged as the old process transitions to the PSC. Auckland Airport aims to ensure, to the greatest extent reasonable possible, that travellers are not disadvantaged through this transition process.
Each airline will be responsible for any necessary arrangements with respect to individual travellers which may arise as a result of the airline's decision regarding its treatment of the PSC.