Air New Zealand to introduce schedule changes
Media Release 25 October 2006
Air New Zealand to introduce schedule changes in the Pacific next year
Air New Zealand will introduce several changes to its Pacific network next year following a review of the airline's non-profitable routes.
Effective 2 April 2007, Air New Zealand will suspend Rarotonga-Papeete-Los Angeles services currently operated by the airline three times per week.
Instead, Air New Zealand will code share with Air Tahiti Nui on four of its daily Papeete-Los Angeles services maintaining connections to/from London and a weekly non-stop service between Rarotonga and Los Angeles will be reinstated by Air New Zealand to retain the link between the Cook Islands and North America. This will be extended to a twice weekly service during the peak travel months of April and July 07 and potentially the December 07 to February 08 period.
A four times weekly non-stop service between Auckland and Papeete will be provided jointly by Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui under a code share arrangement. Regular services between Auckland and Rarotonga will continue as scheduled with no significant change to capacity.
Group General Manager Short Haul Airlines, Norm Thompson said the decision to suspend the services was difficult given the historic links Air New Zealand has with the Pacific and the importance placed on tourism by the Pacific Island economies.
"Air New Zealand has been flying the Coral Route for over fifty years and acknowledges in particular the importance of visitors from the Northern Hemisphere to both French Polynesia and the Cook Islands.
"However, we cannot justify retaining our current level of service through Papeete and Rarotonga from Los Angeles. The high costs and low yields make this route unsustainable so we will suspend these flights as from the end of March next year," said Mr Thompson
'"We will continue to work closely with the Governments of both country's and their respective tourism industry representatives to monitor demand on the routes and would certainly consider adding capacity or reinstating services if sustainable," he said.
Air New Zealand's new code share arrangement with Air Tahiti Nui, which is subject to approval by the respective governments, will offer the people of New Zealand and French Polynesia a better weekly spread of non-stop services between the two destinations.
Air Tahiti Nui Chief Executive, Eric Pommier said "We look forward to working with Air New Zealand in this new code-share arrangement that will benefit both companies as well as our respective countries. This new cooperation will provide a better distribution of services between New Zealand and French Polynesia and afford convenient and improved frequencies to all of our customers."
Also announced today are day of week changes to Air New Zealand's services between Nadi and Los Angeles (three times weekly). The other four days will be operated as a code share with Air Pacific subject to government approval.
Under this arrangement, a daily schedule will be provided between Fiji and Los Angeles with connections to Air New Zealand's services to/from London which will greatly enhance northern hemisphere tourism flows into the Pacific.
Details of the Pacific schedule changes as from 2 April 2007 are as follows:
* Rarotonga-Papeete-Los Angeles: three times weekly return service suspended
* Auckland-Papeete: four return services per week - Air NZ (two) and Air Tahiti Nui (two) with reciprocal code-share on all services
* Papeete-Los Angeles: four times weekly return service - operated by Air Tahiti Nui with Air NZ code on these services
* Rarotonga-Los Angeles: weekly return service - Air NZ. Services operated twice weekly during peak travel months, as outlined.
* Nadi-Los Angeles: new days of operation for Air New Zealand, Monday, Wednesday and Friday - with Air New Zealand code-share on Air Pacific operated flights on this route