Thursday, July 17, 2014

A few images from the [recent] archives

I've been looking through my archives in the last few days and have done some editing to come up with the following 3 images.


First we head way back into 2007 where a miserable cold winters day makes for a moody backdrop to Emirates A340-500 A6-ERA in Christchurch.



Next we fast forward to 2008 where the summer sun shimmers on Eva Air A332 B-16305 as she arrives into Christchurch on a charter flight.



Finally we move to 2009 with the gorgeous YJ-AV1 of Air Vanuatu as she departs Auckland on return to her Port Villa home.


Friday, June 20, 2014

QF 'give up' share on tasman with route cuts

In another sign that QF is struggling, the airline has announced they will cut up to 15 Trans-Tasman flights to Auckland per week.

From October 26th Qantas will cut their MEL-AKL and SYD-AKL services by one flight a day while cutting BNE-AKL to just 5 flights per week down from double daily.
In July 2013 Qantas pledged to maintain "existing capacity on trans-Tasman routes that both Qantas and Emirates fly" as a condition of approval for its partnership with Emirates, and the airline says it will continue to comply with that requirement.
Most if not all of these flights are operated by Jetconnect the New Zealand based subsidiary airline that has a lower cost base than Qantas itself.

Jetstar will step in adding a new 6x weekly MEL-AKL and weekly SYD-AKL services but will drop their 3x weekly ADL-AKL service.

Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are expected to benefit as their alliance picks up any additional passengers and or flights required on these routes, as VA earlier this year reported that Trans-Tasman was in good shape.

Read more about Qantas' cuts from Australian Business Traveller editor David Flynn HERE

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is user pays the new hope for regional NZ?

Masterton residents were up in arms when Air New Zealand dropped their daily MRO-AKL flight in February, now hope is thriving again with possibilities for "user pays" flights.

The first possible white knight to the community was Sounds Air with their plan to operate a Cessna Caravan on MRO-WLG as a morning commuter flight but this idea has since been shelved.

Next saw Vincent Aviation offer the community their MRO-AKL service back with a Saab SF340 service, however the community would have to buy or lease the Saab which Vincent would then operate.  However it looks like this plan will also be shelved after the turbulence of the Vincent Aviation Australia collapse.

The third white knight is Air Chathams a long established operator who usually fly to and from the Chatham Islands.  They have the experience here as well as having operated Chathams Pacific in Tonga, which ceased operation last year when the Tongan government set up a rival airline with Chinese donated aircraft.

Air Chathams are revisiting their original proposal and if the community accepts the terms, stumping up $100,000 to form a 50/50 LLC company, then Air Chathams could be flying from MRO in as little as two weeks from the formation.

However it appears there will need to be structural work completed at the airport, extending the runway by 70 meters at a cost of $150,000, to allow the Air Chathams Metroliner aircraft to take off with an 18 passenger load.

Whatever the local council and community decide it looks like the future of any service to Masterton relies on significant investment from the users.  Should this work out well then this offers an opportunity for other regional centres who have lost services to work with an iterated party using the "user pays" model to restart their service.

Read more about the Air Chathams proposal via the Dominion Post HERE

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