Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Capital Express changes still don't stack up for ratepayers

An announcement today that Singapore Airlines has canned its route to Canberra is a stark admission there is not enough demand for international flights out of Wellington, say those concerned about the ongoing spending of ratepayer and taxpayer money on the venture.

Guardians of the Bay, representing more than 600 community and ratepayer organisations and concerned individuals, is concerned that millions of dollars of public money has been used to subsidise the route despite it being obvious for some time that it was not successful.

Guardians of the Bays Co-Chair Richard Randerson said it was no surprise that Singapore Airlines was pulling the plug on the Wellington – Canberra – Singapore route.

“Despite spending at least $3 million dollars of ratepayer money to promote the route, publicly available loading data clearly shows that it has achieved less than a 50 percent passenger loading. That is great if you like lots of seats on your plane, but it isn’t great for ratepayers who have been subsidising this route for more than a year – for no discernible benefit.”

Latest figures from international monitoring sites show the much touted Capital Express – or Wellington to Canberra flights – have not been working. Figures from the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development https://bitre.gov.au/statistics/aviation/international.aspx show that in August 2017, the Singapore Airlines Wellington to Canberra flight had an average passenger load factor of 128 passengers per flight (based on 16 return services). That is a load factor of 48 percent.

Further figures show that international passenger traffic at Wellington Airport was up only 1.9 percent in the 12 months to September 2017, with Australian visitors actually down 2.2 percent in the same period.

“Wellington Airport has tried desperately to stack up its claims that there will be an economic benefit from the proposed airport extension for Wellington without success. It has drawn down significant amounts of ratepayer funding for its Environment Court application and for the Singapore Airlines subsidy and promotion.

“There is already evidence that the proposal is likely to cost much more than the $350m originally suggested, up to $500m according to one expert.

“The proposed airport extension is not about what is good for Wellington. It is about what is good for Wellington Airport.”

It was time for the Mayor and Councillors of Wellington City to cut their losses on the proposed airport extension and move on.

“In a meeting with Wellington Mayor Justin Lester shortly after he was elected last year, he was clear that the Council’s support of the Wellington Airport extension was dependent on demand for the route,” he said.

“This change of route proves that Wellington Airport and Singapore Airlines are scrambling to find a route that works economically. It is a shame that Singapore Airlines has got caught up in this debacle as it has an excellent brand.

“It is time for our community leaders to follow the Government’s lead and focus on spending that improves the lives of Wellingtonians and all New Zealanders, not just the few,” he said.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Claims About The CPTPP

As a Tufts study usefully explained, some of the basic mechanisms of the original TPP (and the CCTPP is not radically different in this respect) would – in practice – contribute to income inequality, by further tilting the existing imbalance between those reliant on profit-taking as a source of income, and those reliant on wages...

Under the original TPP deal, the Tufts team estimated, 5,000 jobs would have been lost across New Zealand. More>>

 

22/2: Earthquake Memorial Service In Christchurch

"The theme of this year's service, 'Keeping their dreams alive" helps us look back at all that we've lost with a sense of hope and aspiration for the future,'' says the Mayor. "It also helps us to recall all those who came to our rescue and those who offered support at our time of need and what that meant to us." More>>

ALSO:

Submissions Closing: Mangroves Bill 'Designed To Bypass RMA'

Forest & Bird is releasing emails which show the Mangroves Management Bill is intended to completely override the safeguards of the Resource Management Act (RMA). More>>

ALSO:

Percieved Transparency: New Zealand #1 Least Corrupt Public Sector In The World

New Zealand's public sector is ranked the least corrupt in the world, according to Transparency International's 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released globally today. More>>

ALSO:

Reviews: Three-Year Work Programme For Education

The work programme includes the NCEA review, a review of Tomorrow’s Schools, developing a future-focused Education Workforce Strategy, a continuous focus on raising achievement for Māori and Pasifika learners, an action plan for learning support, an early learning strategic plan, a comprehensive review of school property. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages