Air New Zealand shares soared up as much as 9.5% in mid-afternoon trading after the airliner released a $200 million to $275m half-year earnings guidance to the market earlier today.

The airline told the NZX that it had “strong forward sales” over the first three months of the financial year, with particularly strong sales for travel through to January 2023.

Air NZ added it was continuing to operate at approximately 70% of capacity from the full 2019 financial period. 

On the basis of this continuing over the coming quarter, Air NZ said it expects earnings before taxation and other significant items (Ebit) for the first half of the 2023 financial period to be in the range of $200m to $275m.

This basis also includes an average jet fuel price of US$130 (NZ$220.43) per barrel of oil.

However, due to the “global recessionary risks” and other macroeconomic factors – which included inflationary pressures on costs – the airliner said it will not provide full-year guidance at the moment.

“The airline strongly cautions against extrapolating first half FY23 earnings guidance to the full year given the many uncertainties in the trading environment,” it said in a statement.

Air NZ shares were up 9.5% to 74.5 cents – up 6.5 cents from yesterday – just after 2pm today with the share price increase bouncing around between an 8.5% to 9.5% uplift in busy trading.