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New Initiatives Strengthen Origin Pacific Business

April 11th, 2006

New Initiatives Strengthen Origin Pacific Business

Despite the day-to-day challenges of competing on anything but a level ‘flying’ field, Origin Pacific is confident some new initiatives, and breakthroughs, will continue to strengthen its status as a significant regional airline.

Chief among these, says Executive Chairman Robert Inglis, is the launch today of a technologically sophisticated—yet user-friendly—customer loyalty programme he believes will be a major boost for attracting the all important passenger ‘bums on seats’.

Rather than just a ‘me too’ offering, he says the months of planning behind its Origin Flyer scheme have produced a distinctive and innovative result. The technology underpinning the scheme has been developed by Visible Results, an international loyalty marketing group which has created similar initiatives for the likes of Body Shop, Caltex, Virgin Entertainment, Just Jeans and Budweiser.

The launch coincides with what Robert Inglis says is a ‘welcome emergence’ from a period of aero-political uncertainty in the New Zealand market that stymied the airline’s development.

“Building on the success of our existing Flexi-Flyer programme, this new marketing foray is designed to build a closer relationship with, and reward, our frequent flying customers. We’re confident the scheme will be a breath of fresh air for the New Zealand travelling public because of its ease of use and transparency. Further it will strengthen the passenger division of the business.

“We remain realistic about the challenges we face in the current aviation industry climate particularly where our main competitor in Air New Zealand is State-owned and, in fact, would not even be flying without Government intervention at the expense of the ever suffering tax payer.

“Our excitement is therefore grounded in the reality that our passenger operation will only be able to each its true potential when there is a lot more balance in the skies. Nevertheless, we’re confident of our position and growth opportunities.”

Despite the status quo in the air being lopsided in favour of one, Robert Inglis knows Origin Flyer will have some unique offerings.

“Our programme was designed to overcome two of the major complaints many travellers have about these types of schemes—namely administrative transparency and the immediacy and visibility of rewards. Thanks to smart point-of-sale technology based around a unique, rewritable member’s card, travellers will receive programme updates and rewards when they fly.

“A status report tracking progress toward the programmes ultimate reward—one free flight for every 12, or six return, flights—will be updated, and printed on their card, at check in. In addition, they’ll receive added value and discount vouchers to partner products and services when they first sign up to become Origin Flyer members and on some flights.

“A real strength of the programme comes with the free flight coupon being fully transferable. It is able to be used for any destination where Origin Pacific flies and for any ‘Just Go’ seat on any flight.

“The addition, in the near future, of further 30-seater Jetstream 41 aircraft to the current fleet will ensure that the airline manages the anticipated passenger growth. These aircraft will replace smaller 18-seater Jetstreams as the company transitions to a standardised aircraft fleet type.”

Other divisions, says Robert Inglis, continue to contribute solidly to the business.

“Origin Airfreight has expanded and steadily grown to the extent where its revenue streams are approaching that of our passenger business. Our relationship with key international integrators continues to be a cornerstone of the operation. As well as flying dedicated services morning and evening, Origin Airfreight operates overnight services on the key Auckland/Christchurch sectors for a range of wholesale airfreight customers. These customers, in turn, can also utilise the Origin regional network for product distribution.

“Our exclusive use of the Jet Connect domestic services has steadily grown and has benefited a wide range of wholesale customers. In addition to this Boeing 737 capacity, we have recently negotiated, and successfully marketed, the exclusive use of a Boeing 767 freighter operating Auckland/Christchurch overnight.”

Origin’s Air Charter division, says Robert Inglis, continues to be a steady revenue generator. When the additional 30-seater capacity comes on line, opportunities for this division and its growing customer base will be greatly enhanced.

Overall Robert Inglis believes these customer-savvy initiatives reflect Origin Pacific’s aim to be the airline truly representing regional New Zealand.

“Innovation and entrepreneurial spirit are thriving in many of the places where we currently fly or hope to make connections to in the future. Like us, many of these people and enterprises have to contend with any number of challenges and inequities. Those able to think harder and smarter against competition—both fair and otherwise—are making positive contributions to both the local and national economy.

“We’d like to think for people doing business in the regions, Origin Flyer will provide them with further rewards, incentives and also a commodity that we all need more of….fun.”

ENDS

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