National carrier Air New Zealand Ltd reported a 90 percent fall in full year net profit on Thursday, as the global recession and flu pandemic hit air travel.

The airline posted a net profit of NZ$21 million ($14.3 million) for the year ended June 30, compared with NZ$218 million last year.

The airline said normalised profit before tax fell 26 percent to NZ$145 million.

The company declared a final dividend of 3.5 cents per share, compared to 3.5 cents a share last year.

Air NZ shares, 77 percent owned by the New Zealand government, closed on Wednesday at NZ$1.25. So far this year the stock has gained 36 percent, compared with a 13.8 percent rise in the benchmark NZSX-50 index.

The airline dominates the domestic markets, where it competes on main routes with Australian airlines Virgin Blue and Qantas Airways Ltd budget operation Jetstar.

Last month it said passenger numbers were down more than 5 percent on a year ago, but that it had increased its load factor by cutting flights or using smaller planes. In May, it said group capacity would be cut by 3 percent in the 2010 financial year.

 ($1=NZ$1.47)