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Air NZ Recommits To Pressing Case For Alliance

Air New Zealand is disappointed but not surprised at the negative views issued by the New Zealand Commerce Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Air New Zealand remains totally convinced that the Alliance is the best means by which we will continue to be a successful, independent, New Zealand owned international airline committed to serving the wider interests of New Zealand.

The negative impacts on airlines from the war in Iraq and the SARS virus are a timely reminder that the airline industry worldwide is in a fragile state and continually susceptible to major influences of world events. The decision by Air Canada to seek bankruptcy protection only last week and statements by Lufthansa and Cathay Pacific in the last 24 hours on the financial crises they face are a further reminder of the reality of the international airline business.

The progress Air New Zealand has made under the direction of a new Board and Management team is very encouraging, but is not a sufficient basis for a sustainable, successful international airline.

We are certainly surprised by the initial views of the Commissions in regard to the competitive landscape and the very real threats associated with that. We are also surprised by the negative views of the potential tourism benefits flowing from the Alliance.

Our initial reaction is that the issues raised by the Commissions are not insurmountable.

We will now engage with both Commissions addressing their specific concerns.

We have always accepted that achieving this bold initiative would take time, extended discussion and a substantial amount of work before our position on major issues is fully understood.

We remain confident that final regulatory approval is achievable, and will continue to press our case with the Commissions to secure a sustainable future for our national carrier.


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