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  • rmacculloch

Did the Gov't Fudge the Air NZ accounts to make us unable to work out its domestic monopoly powers?

Air NZ released its annual report yesterday, declaring bumper earnings of over half a billion dollars. Given the airline has a near monopoly on domestic routes, the only thing of interest to economists in the report is the earnings split between (non-competitive) domestic and (more competitive) international routes.

Call me stupid, but I was unable to find that number anywhere in the accounts. The report is 100 pages long, but the only really interesting number was nowhere to be found.

Is this standard practice for the airline industry? I looked up the Qantas 2022 Annual Report (below) and found that very number in two seconds, on page 19. The table is headed up "Segment Performance" and Qantas clearly gives the contribution to overall EBIT (Earnings before Interest and Tax) of its Domestic versus International services.

The Air NZ accounts only have strange references to unintelligible items like "domestic revenue passenger kilometers". But all we want to know is the contribution to that half billion $ headline profit (which appeared throughout the news, together with a PR campaign by the airline) that has come from taking advantage of its domestic monopoly powers.

Why is the most basic accounting number - one of tremendous economic significance to assessing the airlines performance - not to be found anywhere in the annual report?



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