Coronavirus: Auckland Airport CEO 'frustrated' by border testing failures amid plunging profits

Auckland Airport's chief executive has conceded he's frustrated by the recent border testing failures.

Adrian Littlewood's comments come as the airport's annual profit plummeted 63 percent.

In July, Auckland Airport made preparations to form a travel bubble with the Pacific Islands, but he said Government failures to test border and quarantine staff have thwarted that - and it's frustrating. 

"Look it is, to be honest. We'd love to see us make progress in opening borders, but again, the Government has to make that decision," he said.

But it's done its part, having tested 56 of the airport's 58 frontline staff.

Auckland Airport posted a 63 percent loss to net profit for the year ending in June - down to $194 million. The number of passengers coming through the airport this year dived to 50-year lows.

"Dramatic, really simple to say," Littlewood said.

He added the airport's activity started to decrease in February when COVID-19 outbreaks began overseas and border restrictions were first imposed.

"Early on we thought this might look like SARS in terms of its impact - we all know now it's nothing like that," he said.

"We had our business and tourism going really, really well, so the way it's turned out is absolutely nothing like we could have expected."