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Air New Zealand raises full-year forecast on stronger demand, lower fuel prices

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(Reuters) -Air New Zealand on Thursday upgraded its full-year forecast for earnings before other significant items and taxation for the second time on the back of strong demand and lower jet fuel prices.

The airline now expects earnings before other significant items and taxation for fiscal 2023 to be no less than NZ$580 million ($350 million), compared with its prior forecast range of NZ$510 million to NZ$560 million.

The national carrier has experienced stronger demand following the reopening of domestic and international borders. This has also helped the airline swing to a first-half profit for the first time in three years.

The sector, which grinded to a near halt due to COVID-19 shutting borders globally, has bounced back with airlines posting strong results in recent months.

The airline assumed average jet fuel price for June of $89 per barrel, the company said. It assumed $105/barrel in February.

However, the airline flagged an uncertain economic environment that it could face going forward into 2024, while expecting fares to moderate from current peaks.

($1 = 1.6565 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Nausheen Thusoo in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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