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Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to write a full blog post, but that doesn't mean it's not covered. Often its covered on the NZ Aviation Notes Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a safe, happy and blessed Christmas and New Year, and would like to thank you for following NZ Aviation Notes this year.

I hope you have a fun, relaxing, enjoyable time with your loved ones during the festive season, drive safely, and stay safe, and I wish you luck for everything 2011 throws your way.

What better way to wish you a merry christmas than to leave it to our friends at Air New Zealand.  So here is Air New Zealands video Christmas card to you.

NZL authorities ok NZ/DJ

The New Zealand authorities have joined the ACCC in paving the way for the Air New Zealand - Virgin Blue group trans-tasman tie up, signing off on monday.

Air New Zealand and Virgin can start thrashing out the finer details of their new trans-Tasman alliance, after the deal cleared its final regulatory hurdle.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce gave the alliance the green light yesterday, saying co-operation, coupled with conditions placed on the airlines, would benefit passengers through more travel options, an improved range of departure times and continued competitive fares.
Its expected the new fares/routes/codeshared flights wll be abvailable in 6-7 months but on sale in around 4. Air NZ clears final hurdle in alliance with Virgin by Hamish Rutherford

Friday, December 17, 2010

Air New Zealand's Skycouch seats draw strong interest

Air New Zealand is currently wading through the "glut" of interest from overseas airlines for licencing their new skycouch seats for use by other carriers.

Air New Zealand is in talks with other airlines wanting to use its new "cuddle class" economy seats.
Air New Zealand will most likely licence the seats to airlines after having a period of exclusive use, probably around 18 months.

NZ Herald World airlines queue up for Air NZ 'cuddle class' seats by Owen Hemby

Virgin Blue to join Star?

There is a lot of talk around currently about the possibility of the Virgin Blue group joining Star Alliance.  The talk has been fuelled by the appearance at the recent Star Alliance conference, held in Queenstown, of VB CEO John Borghetti.  Mr Borghetti attended the conference at the invitation of Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe.

Mr Borghetti would not comment on the possibility, only saying Virgin was looking at all possibilities.

For more on this
The Australian Star Alliance trains sights on Aussie airline, by Steve Creedy

ACCC say YES (finally)

Finally some good news for the Virgin group and Air New Zealand with the ACCC overturning their draft decision to grant conditional approval to the tie up of services across the tasman.

An alliance between Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue on flights between Australia and New Zealand has been conditionally approved by the Australian watchdog.
The approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reversed an earlier draft ruling which was opposed to the tie-up.
Wellington International Airport Limited who had opposed the venture seem to have come out as big winners from the conditional approval

Mr Samuel said the ACCC was still concerned that the alliance might affect competition on a number of routes between Australia and New Zealand, particularly routes involving Wellington. "However, the ACCC has imposed a number of conditions on authorisation which are designed to address these competition concerns."

Read more about the decision and conditions: Air NZ, Virgin Blue alliance approved
NZ Herald Air NZ, Virgin Blue alliance approved
The Australian Conditional ACCC nod means Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand must add seats, by Steve Creedy

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Christchurch get the X factor

Christchurch has got their new International connection with Air Asia X signing off on a CHC-KUL connection.

This connection was previously mentioned on this blog in the previous post new international entrants to tans-tasman CHC market?

Low-cost carrier Air Asia X has finalised a deal to bring direct long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur to Christchurch, New Zealand.

A team including Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) CEO Jim Boult, CIAL General Manager Marketing and Business Development Gareth Owen, Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker and Mayoress Joanna Nicholls-Parker, CEO of Tourism New Zealand Kevin Bowler and the New Zealand High Commissioner for Malaysia David Kersey met with the owner of Air Asia X Tony Fernandes and his executive team to sign a deal that will bring the airline to Christchurch.

Flights are expected to begin in March and be 4x weekly direct KUL-CHC return, with a possibility of flights going daily within 2 years.

Read more about the signing from The Moodie Report HERE or the Christchurch Press HERE

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Air New Zealand release 777-300 safety video

Air New Zealand have released the new safety video for use on their shortly to be delivered Boeing 777-319ERs.  It of course features "mascot" Rico, and I find this to be the least offensive video Rico has starred in.

As with most things there has been a mixed reaction so far from critics and armchair pundits alike, with both positive and negative responses.  Some of the negative responses focus on the video being "unprofessional" and reflecting badly on how NZ rate safety - ie a big joke.  Positive responses are similar to mine, in this being the least offensive of the Rico series of videos.

I will let you decided for yourselves what you think, the video is below

Friday, October 22, 2010

BHE/NZWB wins award

For readers who are new to this blog, it began a few years ago as Marlborough Aviation Scene, recording notable movements and aircraft in Marlborough, at both Woodbourne BHE/NZWB and Omaka NZOM.

It is with great pride that I hark back to the blogs roots for a post to congratulate BHE on being named
New Zealand Airports Regional Airport of the Year 2010.

Read the Marlborough Express story HERE

Check out a few of the local Aviation happenings in Blenheim

Blenheim Airport
Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre
Classic Fighters Omaka
Marlborough Aero Club
Classic Aircraft Photography
Classic Aircraft Photography Blog

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Business Day opinion piece NZ/DJ link-up Business Day writer Peter Kerr, has written an opinion piece on the ACCC's decision on the NZ/DJ tie-up, based on the comments/opinions of NZ Aviation News editor, Peter Clark.

The Australian Consumer and Competition Commission risks showing its protectionist tendencies if it rejects Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue's rejigged trans-Tasman code sharing proposal, says a top aviation industry commentator.
There is also an interesting comment about Wellington International Airport and the possible results of the protests they are making to the ACCC.

Read the full story HERE

Fyfe wins CAPA award

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe has won an award at the CAPA awards, held recently.

Air New Zealand's chief executive Rob Fyfe was named chief executive of the year at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) awards in Singapore last night.
This is another boost for Fyfe who is widely regarded as a great and innovative leader, who is well regarded for his work at Air New Zealand.

The full NZ Herald article can be read HERE

Monday, October 18, 2010

DL/DJ JV catch up

After a hectic last few days its time to catch up with the latest news in the Virgin Blue alliance saga, this time more news on the Virgin/Delta Airlines tie up.

The Australian government has made a public call for the US DOT to approve the alliance deal between Virgin and Delta Airlines.
THE federal government has taken the unusual step of intervening to lobby on behalf of Virgin Blue, seeking to overturn a US regulator's initial rejection of an alliance with Delta Air Lines.

Read the following stories on the subject
Sydney Morning Herald Sat 16th Oct Canberra backs Virgin plea by Matt O'Sullivan
The Australian Sat 16th Oct Regulators battle over anti-trust immunity by Steve Creedy

Friday, October 15, 2010

ACCC agree to pre-decision conference

The ACCC have agreed to a request by WIAL to hold a pre-decision conference to discuss the proposed tran-tasman tie up of Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand.

The competition watchdog has agreed to a request by an opponent of Virgin Blue's new alliance for a pre-decision conference on the deal.
Wellington International Airport Ltd, which has expressed fears the agreement will result in higher fares, is backing the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's draft determination to deny the tie-up between Virgin and Air New Zealand.
Its should also be noted that the opposition to the tie up is mainly coming from New Zealand airports, and groups while those in Australia seem to be supportive of the deal.

Read the full article by Steve Creedy from The Austalian HERE

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is "Rico" genius or failure?

Air New Zealand's latest marketing ploy 'Rico' the furry frequent flyer, being used to advertise the features of NZ's new 777-300s (being delivered shortly) seems to have hit mixed responses.

I seem to be seeing positive responses from people in the northern hemisphere - UK & USA, but the reaction from people here in the southern hemisphere, NZ & AU seems to be uniformly negative.

Most people down here seem to find 'Rico' crass and unfunny, and he has even been compared to Paul Henry and come out worse off!

I'll let you make up your own mind on this one

Check out the full range of 'Rico' videos HERE (new ones to be added 20/10/10)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SYD CBR support NZ/DJ Bid

Matt O'Sullivan from the Sydney Morning Herald reports on the call from Sydney and Canberra airports for the ACCC to reverse their initial preliminary objection to the Air New Zealand/Virgin Blue tie up, and instead give the bid the go ahead.

SYDNEY and Canberra airports have urged the competition regulator to overturn its initial opposition to a planned alliance between Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand on flights between Australia and New Zealand.

But New Zealand airports are remaining steadfast in their calls for the regulator to block the deal because of fears it will reduce competition on the trans-Tasman route.

Read the full article HERE

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finally a ray of hope for Virgin Blue

It appears there is finally a ray of hope for the Virgin Blue group with the ACCC giving interim approval to their alliance with Etihad.

THE ACCC has granted interim approval to Virgin Blue's proposed alliance with Etihad Airways while it considers whether to approve the deal. 
The decision comes despite the objections of Qantas, which had requested that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission knock back Virgin and Etihad's request for fast approval.
Read the full story by Ross Kelly of Dow Jones Newswires published by The Australian HERE

Further articles on Rob Fyfe's speech

Further articles are now appearing covering NZ's CEO Rob Fyfe's lunchtime speech to the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney yesterday.

Steve Creedy of The Australian has written an in depth article covering the speech and its impact on NZ and the tasman.
"We believe the body charged with promoting competition is at serious risk of killing it off," Mr Fyfe told a National Aviation Press Club lunch in Sydney yesterday.
Read his full article HERE

An article by Daily Telegraph reporter Jenny Dillon covered by Adelaidenow also delves a bit deeper into the speech.
He said there was a strong "risk of killing off the airline" which would leave trans-Tasman passengers at the monopoly mercy of Qantas.
 Read her full article HERE

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Air New Zealand's future threatened?

Air New Zealand's CEO Rob Fyfe has told the National Aviation Press Club in Sydney that the draft determination by the ACCC to block the NZ/DJ alliance may threaten the future of Air New Zealand.

"If we are to earn the right to continue to fly and grow, then the deal with Virgin Blue is a central plank of that strategy," Mr Fyfe said at a National Aviation Press Club lunch in Sydney on Wednesday.

"Obviously the ACCC's (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) preliminary finding represents a threat to this strategy, in effect, a threat to our future."
The full article from the AAP can be found on HERE or the couriermail HERE

Air New Zealands new All Black livery

I had been forewarned to expect something different for the first domestic A320 to be delivered into the Air New Zealand fleet in 2011.

And today Air New Zealand have announced the new special livery for that aircraft - an 'All Black' Livery to celebrate their 17yr association with NZ rugby.

The livery is uniquely kiwi and uniquely rugby, and will serve NZ well during the world cup next year.  Its just a pity this will be a domestic only livery as I would have loved to have seen it pop up in countries around the world.

See a video of the new livery on an A320 in Flight Simulator below. Or read the article HERE

Monday, September 20, 2010

Virgin & Etihad submission

In the continuation of my focus on the proposed Virgin Blue group alliances, the following article focuses on the Virgin and Etihad submission to the ACCC in response to Qantas's opposition to their alliance.
VIRGIN Blue and Etihad have hit back at a Qantas attempt to torpedo interim approval of their alliance.

They argue that bowing to the flying kangaroo's request would be to the detriment of passengers.

A four-page submission lodged with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission on Friday dismissed as "self-serving" Qantas concerns about changing market dynamics, said criticisms the airlines' submissions lacked detail were incorrect and argued that V Australia would suffer if interim authorisation was denied.
Read the full story by Steve Creedy from The Australian HERE

Friday, September 17, 2010

More fleet news from Qantas-Jetconnect .. updated

A press release from Wellington International airport HERE provides us with more information on the fleet upgrade and replacement process of Jetconnect.
In another announcement Qantas has confirmed it will be introducing three brand new B737-800s from February 2011. Two of these aircraft will be based in Wellington, flying on the Sydney and Melbourne routes.
Some further information posted on the Internet and also gleaned from timetables suggests the Jetconnect fleet will grow in size with the new look fleet standing at 6x 737-800s with 3x 737-400s remaining, mainly operating on the AKL-BNE route, although the 734 still appears on routes from MEL/SYD to WLG well into the new year. 

Jetconnect will also take over the operation of the QF45/46 SYD-CHC-SYD route from QF mainline, leaving QF114/141 operated with the A333 as the only trans-tasman route still operated by QF mainline metal

*** Additional infomation shows ZK-JTS will return to QF mainline in March 2011 with the remaining 3 B734s to be phased out and sent to the desert by September (Subject to change) ***

Future domestic destinations for JQ

Jetstar are looking at a number of destinations in New Zealand for expansion of their domestic network.  Some of these destinations add credence to the rumour currently circulating that suggests JQ will obtain some QF(QantasLink) Dash 8s to operate to some of the larger provincial centre in NZ.

Southern cities Dunedin and Invercargill are firmly on Jetstar's radar, as the budget airline launches an aggressive expansion phase in New Zealand following the departure of Pacific Blue.

Jetstar group chief executive Bruce Buchanan told the Otago Daily Times yesterday Dunedin, Invercargill, Hamilton, Rotorua, and Nelson were all domestic destinations "on our list"
The full article by Hamish McNeilly from the Otago Daily Times can be found HERE

I am interested to hear from any readers of this blog as to your views on the possible JQ expansion and the rumours circulating about the wet leased Dash 8s, especially after the announcement that Nelson is on JQs radar, considering runway 02/20 at NZNS is not A320 compliant.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More news on the Jetstar NZ Domestic increase have published another article today in their business day section on the ramp up of NZ domestic services by Jetstar in the wake of the Pacific Blue departure.

Two more A320s will join the NZ domestic fleet which will enable Jetstar to provide the following frequency upgrades
Qantas-owned Jetstar will increase weekly return flights between Auckland and Christchurch from 35 to 49 and between Auckland and Wellington from 21 a week to 35 a week.
There will also be additional frequencies between Auckland and Queenstown and Wellington and Christchurch.
Read the full article by Roland Van Den Bergh HERE

And for those pedantic like myself you will notice stuff have just used stock photos for this article with the one on the main business page being of a JQ A330 and the one in the article itself being a JQ B717.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More news articles on DJ

I will continue to follow the fortunes of the DJ (Virgin Blue) group here on this blog, so expect to see more posts in the coming days/weeks as things continue to unfold.

The two articles in this mornings papers focus heavily on Virgin Group CEO John Borghetti's comments to the Financial Services Council lunch in Sydney yesterday.

There's life in alliance push yet: Borghetti  - Steve Creedy, The Australian

Virgin Blue fights for alliance - Owen Hembry, NZ Herald

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More DJ woes? (warning opinionated)

Are there more woes in store for the Virgin Blue group after the recent announcement of the departure from NZ domestic flights and the knock backs from competition watch dogs for the proposed tie ups with Delta Airlines and Air New Zealand?

Two new articles published in the media suggest that there may be.

The first published by TVNZ HERE covers an interview with Sir Richard Branson by ABC where he mentions Pacific Blue may pull out from trans tasman routes as well.
Virgin Blue may abandon trans-Tasman routes after its alliance plans with Air New Zealand were dealt a blow by Australia's competition regulator, which issued a draft decision denying them permission to merge.
The second from The Australian HERE reports on a submission lodged with the ACCC by Qantas in opposition to the proposed alliance between DJ and Etihad (EY)
Qantas has lodged a submission with the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission expressing concern about Virgin Blue's alliance with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and calling on the regulator to ignore calls by the airline to fast-track the process.
I believe that the first article is posturing from Sir Richard in an attempt to convince the regulator that they have made the wrong decision, although I do believe Pacific Blue are suffering financial strain on the tasman, and believe that there is a strong possibility in a year or so that if things have not improved then yes indeed you will see Pacific Blue drop routes across the tasman.

The second article I believe is Qantas once again playing the bully boy stand over tactics role, that they have become famous for.  Qantas are annoyed that Etihad has decided to join DJ in an agreement that has far outweighed their previous code-share agreement with QF, an agreement QF promptly dropped when EY announced they were going to work with DJ.  QF are also worried that their anti-competitive deal with BA on Australia-Europe routes will be jeopardised and offer travellers different cheaper options for travel between the two regions.  This is complete and utter rubbish as it makes things better for the public not worse as QF state in their submission.

Unfortunately for DJ I believe QF have the ACCC as their own personal lap dog as witnessed by the ACCCs keenness to extend the monopolistic code-share agreement between QF and SA on the South African routes and also their willingness to ok the anti competitive BA/QF deal for European routes, and their instant dismissal of the proposals between DJ and DL/NZ

There is no way a second airline can flourish in this state when the competition regulator - set up supposedly with the best interests of the travelling public in mind, is in fact so strongly biased to the incumbent national airline.  The same problem raises its ugly head at home in New Zealand where NZ garners more support from regulators than the other airlines trying to make a living against their domestic monopoly, they too follow in the QF footsteps in their preditory tactics especially on regional routes.

I want to see DJ succeed and make an impact in the markets on both sides of the tasman, but I don't believe that is possible when the competition regulators on both sides of the tasman are so narrow minded and firmly embedded in the pockets of QF and to a lesser extent NZ.

The sooner the ACCC wake up and grow a pair, and actually stand up to QF, and give DJ and other smaller Australian airlines a fair go, the sooner the aviation market here and the trans tasman aviation market will be able to grow, and the sooner the travelling public will be able to reap the rewards of two or more competitive airlines, who don't all of a sudden drop routes, or fail completely, because they have been forced out of the market by bad decisions, which have caused them to become unprofitable, and therefore unable to fly.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Changes to the DJ brands

As has been widely mentioned in the media, but not yet covered here on NZ Aviation Notes the DJ/VA group are looking at consolidating their branding, from the current four brands (Virgin Blue, Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue and V Australia) down to a single new brand.

The back story can be found at Australian Aviation HERE

At the weekend Sir Richard Branson, speaking at the Virgin Blue 10th anniversary celebrations, was adamant the Virgin name would not disappear from Australian skies
"The Virgin name will stay forever," he said. "I think Pacific Blue and the other (airlines) they will be rebranded. There's a whole rebranding exercise which is going to be unveiled, maybe even in a month or so, which looks great. I've seen it and I think it's very, very powerful."
He also warned that Australian traveller should expect higher fares after the "illogical" decisions to reject DJs proposed tie ups with Delta Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Sir Richards comments lead me to agree with  other statements out there that the 3 brands (Virgin Blue/Pacific Blue/Polynesian Blue) will be unified either under the Virgin Blue brand or a new Virgin Australia/Australasia brand, while V Australia will remain unchanged for now, due to the restrictions imposed by Singapore Airlines as 49% owner of Virgin Atlantic.

Read the full article from The Australian HERE

Friday, September 10, 2010

ACCC oppose DJ/NZ tieup

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has rejected the proposed trans tasman alliance between Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand stating the proposal was
"likely to reduce competition in the market for trans-Tasman air passenger services".

The knockback comes the day after US regulators rejected Virgin Blue's proposed partnership with Delta Air Lines on flights between the US and Australia in a preliminary ruling.

Read the full story HERE

Friday, August 20, 2010

Air New Zealand's error

So as posted below Air New Zealand have launched their new "crazy about rugby" safety video.  Below is the quote from their release on youtube
We jammed a plane full of rugby fans, some crazy Air New Zealand staff and asked some of our All Black friends to lend a hand. After two long days shooting, here's what we came up with. Created for our Domestic 737 service.
But what Air New Zealand failed to do was film this video on a 737.  It is very clearly filmed on an A320 - ZK-OJO to be precise.  The key identifying features are:
  • PTVs in the seatbacks (737s don't have these)
  • Curtains separating business class with economy (737s are all economy)
  • No yoke steering in the cockpit (737s have control yokes, A320s have side sticks)
  • A fully electronic display cockpit
  • In the scene with Richie McCaw sitting in the pilots seat the dash clearly says ZK-OJO

What makes this worse for Air New Zealand is this issue was raised with me by a non aviation geek, who noticed it wasn't filmed on a 737!

So props to Air New Zealand for filming another great safety video, but a big loss of points for the glaring error of filming a 737 safety video on an A320.

(But the old girl streaking still makes me laugh!!)

New Air New Zealand Safety video

Air New Zealand have cracked it again with their new safety video for domestic 737 services.  The video plays heavily on their association with New Zealand Rugby and features several All Blacks including captain Richie McCaw and coach Graham Henry.

Check it out for yourself (ps the old lady cracks me up....)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Air New Zealand to pick up Pacific Blue passengers

The following extract from the article about the Pacific Blue withdrawal from domestic service shows how the announcement has benefited Air New Zealand.

"We have confirmed that we're able to re-accommodate their customers and understand Pacific Blue will soon contact passengers to discuss their options," Air New Zealand Group General Manager Australasia Bruce Parton said in a statement.
He said passengers would be rebooked onto Air New Zealand services as close to their currently booked departure time as possible.
In addition, Pacific Blue passengers would be offered free membership to Air New Zealand's Airpoints program. 
This of course raises the question, as to whether this is all part of the strategy for the alliance between the two airlines?, although the alliance is on trans tasman markets and Virgin have denounced there is any connection between the two, through social media outlet Twitter.

Jetstar to increase NZ Domestic after PB departure

LOW-cost carrier Jetstar plans to increase its fledgling New Zealand operations, taking advantage of Virgin Blue's departure from the market.
The airline, owned by Qantas, says it will add two extra A320 aircraft to its eight strong NZ fleet to support more domestic and trans-Tasman routes.
Jetstar chief Bruce Buchanan said the airline would increase flights from Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington in advance of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Report is from AAP via the CourierMail, and doesn't contain any concrete announcements just a general announcement that Jetstar will increase their domestic services including those previously mentioned (HERE).

Read the full report HERE

Pacific Blue exit NZ Domestic

Pacific Blue have announced their exit from the New Zealand domestic market, while refocusing their efforts on trans tasman and short haul international flights.

“Pacific Blue will cease flying New Zealand domestic routes and redeploy its New Zealand-based aircraft on to trans-Tasman and medium haul international routes. Guests holding forward bookings on New Zealand domestic routes from 18 October onward will be provided with re-accommodation and refund options,”
“By year-end, V Australia will be fully devoted to international long haul business more suited to the B777 fleet, with Fiji serviced by Pacific Blue."

Key dates:

From 6 August 2010, Brisbane - Hamilton (New Zealand) flights increase from three to four flights per week. Sydney – Hamilton flights ceased on 30 July;
From 18 August 2010, Denpasar - Melbourne direct flights will increase from five flights per week to daily;
From 19 August 2010, Perth – Phuket services will increase from two to three flights per week;
From 17 September 2010, Brisbane – Dunedin services will increase from three to four flights per week; and
From 31 October 2010, Christchurch – Melbourne frequency will increase from four flights per week to a daily service.

Virgin Blue Press release HERE

Dominion Post Stuff article HERE

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Jetstar call for immigration check cuts

Jetstar has called on the Australian government to drop checks for passengers travelling to New Zealand in an effort to save on duplication, and produce a cost benefit to airlines and a GDP profit to both Australia and New Zealand.

Airline chief executive Bruce Buchanan first raised the issue almost two years ago and today told The Australian newspaper that removing controls on one side of the Tasman would remove the duplication involved in performing customs, immigration and quarantine on both sides of the Tasman.
Full report from HERE

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Jetstar route announcements

Jetstar have now also announced the introduction of a daily Auckland - Melbourne flight and a 3x weekly Auckland - Cairns flight.  In addition they have announced the increase in Auckland - Wellington frequencies to 24x weekly.

A daily Auckland-Melbourne service commences on 13 December 2010 and a new three times weekly Auckland-Cairns service commences from 12 April 2011.

These announcements come on top of the routes to Queenstown, mentioned in the previous post, and the longhaul launch from a previous post.

The full report can be read HERE from our friends @NZAviation

With the introduction of the Cairns service, this bring the number of airlines on this route to 3, after Air New Zealand dominated this route for a long time, and before that the route was all but forgotten by airlines.   This should come as good news for the North Queensland Tourism industry.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Jetstar launch trans-tasman services to Queenstown

Jetstar have announced they will introduce new services from Melbourne and the Gold Coast to Queenstown, and increase their current daily AKL-ZQN flight to 11x weekly.

Jetstar said a twice weekly Melbourne to Queenstown A320 service would begin on December 16 and a twice weekly Gold Coast to Queenstown service on December 17.
Jetstar is also increasing services between Queenstown and Auckland from daily to 11 times a week from December 16.
It will have seven A320 aircraft based in New Zealand by December.

Full SMH article HERE

AIAL news

Some interesting moves of note from Auckland International Airport.  These have impact on the trans-tasman and domestic aviation markets.

They have invested in Queenstown Airport

Auckland International Airport said on July 8 that it is investing in a 24.99 percent shareholding in Queenstown Airport by subscribing for new shares for $27.7 million.
It has an option to increase the holding to 30 percent to 35 percent at any time up to June 30, 2011.
And have also suspended the construction of their second runway
Auckland International Airport has suspended construction on its second runway following consultation with the airline industry, saying it will make more effective use of peak-time capacity on the existing runway.

Queenstown Airport investment article HERE and local reaction HERE
2nd runway suspension article HERE

Air New Zealand to buy shares in Virgin Blue?

Air New Zealand have refuted claims they plan to buy shares in Virgin Blue, rumoured to be up to 15%.

Air New Zealand says it has not bought any shares in airline Virgin Blue but a statement to the NZX, made in response to media reports, has not ruled out such a move.
Full article from HERE
and article from Sydney Morning Herald HERE

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Air New Zealand set RNP record at Rotorua

Air New Zealand set a world first for Airbus when they operated A320 ZK-OJM into ROT on Saturday 22-May-2010 using RNP level 0.1 with the surrounding cloud base at just 400ft.

The RNP 0.1 value is the lowest level approved by Airbus and authority to operate below RNP 0.3 had just been granted to ANZ the previous day.

Air New Zealand have used RNP technology for their flights into Queenstown for several years now, and are also trialing the use of RNP for services into several other airports including Brisbane and Coolangatta, in Australia.
See the full report at ATW HERE

(Posted in conjunction with Rotorua Aviation Scene)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Jetstar's lounghaul launch

Hot on the heels of Jetstar's announcement that they will base a 7th A320 in NZ, is the announcement they will base an Airbus A330-200 in Auckland.

The arrival of the A332 will enable Jetstar to launch daily Auckland-Singapore flights from march 2011.

Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the route was the next phase in Jetstar's expansion in New Zealand and its wider Asian network.

Read the full story HERE

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jetstar launch NZ fight

Jetstar have upped the anti in the fight with Pacific Blue for New Zealand passengers with the announcement they will base a 7th A320 in NZ.

Jetstar currently operate 6 A320s with 3 operating the domestic routes between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, and the other 3 operating trans-tasman routes, 2 out of Christchurch and 1 out of Auckland.

The report sourced from the CourierMail  website and featured in all news limited publications and websites across australia is unfortunately rife with errors.

  • The picture shown is of a Jetstar A332 not an A320
  • They describe Pacific Blue as operating two aircraft in New Zealand  while trans-tasman services are operated by other australian based aircraft.  Clearly Pacific Blue operates its trans tasman services with its New Zealand fleet of aircraft.
  • They say Jetstar has carried four million passengers on internal routes but as reported in an Earlier Post, in April they were celebrating their 1 millionth domestic passenger, so I doubt they've carried 3 million passengers in the last 2 months

The full error riddled article can be found HERE

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pacific Blue increase Hamilton & Dunedin to Brisbane

Pacific Blue will be increasing direct flights to Brisbane from both Hamilton and Dunedin when it introduces its northern winter schedule later this year.
The airline will add one extra weekly flight from Hamilton to Brisbane, taking the total number of weekly flights from three to four. Its Dunedin-Brisbane schedule will also increase by one flight a week from three to four, with an additional flight on a Friday.
When the new schedule begins the airline will no longer offer direct flights from Hamilton to Sydney, adding extra frequency to Brisbane instead.

Pacific Blue press release

Pacific Blue increase Auckland - Rarotonga

Pacific Blue have announced a permanent increase to their Auckland - Rarotonga service with the flights now operating 4x weekly.

Pacific Blue announced today that it would begin a permanent fourth weekly flight between Auckland and Rarotonga starting in July, adding over 9,000 extra seats to the route each year.

Pacific Blue press release

Air New Zealand Virgin alliance application

The NZ Ministry of Transport has published the public version of the application by Air New Zealand and the Virgin Group for their proposed trans tasman alliance.

You can read it for yourself HERE if you have the time, its a tantilising 95 pages long.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Air New Zealands silent fight with the Listener magazine

Air New Zealand have engaged in a war of "words" or more signs in their latest campaign, in response to an editorial published in the listener

Read the Listener editorial HERE (

Read the media reports HERE (

View Air New Zealand's new website HERE

or watch Rob Fyfe's youtube response below

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Virgin Blue & Air New Zealnd in talks

The biggest news story of the year so far, in regards to trans tasman services is the proposed link up of Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue.

Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand have confirmed to the Australian Securities Exchange that they have been in talks over a potential trans-Tasman alliance.
The initial story found HERE

Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand have announced details of their planned revenue sharing trans-Tasman alliance proposal, first revealed to the ASX last week, confirming it will be a non-equity arrangement.
More details revealed HERE

Jetstar procedural changes

As a result of an issue with a CHC-MEL flight in 2007, Jetstar have made some procedural changes.
Jetstar says that a serious incident at Melbourne Airport in 2007 which was initially not reported to the ATSB has seen it change its procedures for handling go-arounds and training of its A320 crews.
The full article can be read HERE

Jetstars passenger numbers

A little bit late with this post but Jetstar have celebrated their 1 millionth domestic passenger in NZ.
Jetstar has carried its one millionth domestic New Zealand passenger since it replaced Qantas’s domestic New Zealand services in June 2009.
Read the full article at Australian Aviation HERE

Saturday, April 24, 2010

ANZ Cairns increase

Air New Zealanfd are incresing services and capacity to Cairns over the winter period, June 1 to October 8.

The flights will increase to 4x weekly.

On two of the flights it will use the bigger 223-seat Boeing 767 and on the other two the 152-seat Airbus A320, which is used in the off-peak season.

Full details are in this Carins Post article

A big catch up

I finally have a chance to catch up with noteable movements for the period March 27 - April 23.

Air New Zealand
The BNE-DUD seasonal route  returned on Wednesday 31-March-2010 with the first rotation BNE-DUD-BNE operated by A320 ZK-OJN

Airbus A320 ZK-OJC positioned AKL-CHC as NZ6713 on Saturday 3-April-2010

Sunday 04-April-2010 saw the start of the standardisation on the AKL-BNE-AKL NZ135/136 route with the flight being operated now by all B772ER equipment.

Airbus A320 ZK-OJA re-entered service after scheduled maintenance on Thursday 08-April-2010.  The same day as A320 ZK-OJI entered scheduled maintenance.

Friday 09-April-2010 saw the standardisation of NZ125/126 AKL-MEL-AKL to all B772ER equipment.

Wednesday 21-April-2010 saw Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-33A N583HA operate NZ107 AKL-SYD after completion of maintenance with ANZES in AKL

Thursday 22-April-2010 saw Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-3G5 N586HA operate NZ100 SYD-AKL in preparation to enter maintenance with ANZES in AKL.

Thursday 22-April-2010 also saw Boeing 747-419 ZK-NBT operate the afternoon AKL-MEL-AKL NZ125/126 rotation.

Tuesday 20-April-2010 saw JST254/255 CHC-AKL-CHC canceled

Thursday 22-April-2010 saw JST265/264 AKL-WLG-AKL canceled

Pacific Blue
Saturday 27-March-2010 saw Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBF position AKL-CHC as DJ7082

Tuesday 30-March-2010 saw VH-VUM operating a domestic SYD-OOL flight divert to BNE due weather at OOL.

Saturday 10-April-2010 saw the last flight on the APW-BNE-APW routing with this route temporarily suspended until 05-May-2010.

Monday  19-April-2010 saw VH-VUG operate out of Perth as DJ9001 returning to Perth as DJ9002 on Tuesday 20-April-2010

Thursday 08-April-2010 saw Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTQ operating QF48 WLG-SYD divert to AKLQF48 then continued to SYD using Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTR

Sunday 11-April-2010 saw ZK-JTP position WLG-AKL as QF6171 and ZK-JTQ position AKL-WLG as QF6173

Monday 19-April-2010 saw Sunday 18-April-2010's QF131 MEL-AKL operated by ZK-ZQA arrive, over 12 hours late.

Friday, April 9, 2010

New Air New Zealand Codeshare

Air New Zealand and Continental Airlines have announced a new comprehensive codeshare agreement.

The agreement will see NZ codes added to over 500 CO flights, while CO codes will be added to NZ Pacific flights as well as all domestic and trans tasman flights operating from Auckland.

More details can be found in this Flight Global Article

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Schedule changes for the period 27-31 March

As reported in the previous post there have been multiple schedule and route changes, this is a summary of the Pacific Blue and Jetstar ones that have occured over the weekend.

Pacific Blue

27/03 CHC-BNE 
DJ81/80/83 CHC-BNE-CHC-BNE service operated by ZK-PBA.  Replacing DJ4080/4081 BNE-CHC

28/03 CHC-SYD
Extra DJ70/73 SYD-CHC-SYD operated by ZK-PBG

27/03 WLG-BNE
Final DJ4069 operated by VH-VOX, initial DJ68 operated by ZK-PBM

28/03 WLG-BNE
Initial DJ69 operated by ZK-PBL - replaces DJ4069

29/03 BNE-HLZ
First Monday DJ86 BNE-HLZ operated by ZK-PBA - replaces Monday SYD-HLZ

29/03 CHC-BNE
First Monday DJ80 CHC-BNE operated by ZK-PBG
First Monday DJ81 BNE-CHC operated by ZK-PBM

29/03 CHC-SYD
First afternoon DJ73 CHC-SYD operated by ZK-PBI

30/03 CHC-SYD
First Tuesday DJ71 CHC-SYD operated by ZK-PBI

30/03 HLZ-BNE
First Tuesday DJ87 HLZ-BNE operated by ZK-PBA

27/03 CHC-OOL
Last Saturday CHC-OOL return flight operated by VH-VQC

28/03 CHC-OOL
First Sunday CHC-OOL return flight operated by VH-VQD

First service to Nadi and change to CHC timetable operated by VH-VQC

Jetstar trans tasman schedule changes Apr-Jun

And finally I am able to report on the JQ trans tasman changes for the period April to June.

No changes to schedules out of Auckland

The Gold Coast flight continues to operate twice weekly with the second weekly flight changing from Saturday to Sunday from 28-March-2010.

The Sydney flight drops from the current 9x weekly flight to a daily flight.  An AM departure from CHC Mo, We, Th, Fr, Sa, Su and an afternoon departure on Tu.
Return flights are AM departures Th, Sa, Su and PM departures Mo, Tu, We, Fr

Melbourne flights decrease from 9x weekly to 8x weekly with AM return flights Mo, Tu, Th, Sa, Su and PM return flights We, Th, Fr

Although not strictly a trans tasman flight the introduction of the 4x weekly SYD-NAN flight from Monday 29-March-2010 has impacted the schedule with the aircraft operating from the CHC base on a CHC-SYD-NAN-SYD-CHC pattern Mo, We, Fr, Sa

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A few notes for March 24-27

Air New Zealand
The proving flights with A320s on domestic routes continues with AKL-CHC returns being added over the period.  Thursday 25-March-2010 & Friday 26-March-2010 ZK-OJB was noted operating selected AKL-CHC-AKL & AKL-WLG-AKL sectors.

Wednesday 24-March-2010 saw Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTS operating QF125 BNE-AKL return to BNE.  It then overnighted before positioning to AKL as QF6171 on Thursday 25-March-2010.

Thursday 25-March-2010 saw disruptions at MEL due to overcrowding after fog disruption.  This resulted in Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTR operating QF132 AKL-MEL divert to HBA (Hobart) until it was able to continue onto MEL.

Pacific Blue
Pacific Blue were also disrupted by the fog/overcrowding issues at MEL on Thursday 25-March-2010  with Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBD operating DJ165 AKL-MEL diverting to ADLZK-PBD departed ADL direct for AKL as DJ9164.

Pacific Blue's 10th Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBL returned to Pacific Blue (NZ) service today Saturday 27-March-2010 as DJ61/164 CHC-MEL-AKL

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Notes for March 24

Air New Zealand
Saturday 13-March-2010 saw Airbus A320 ZK-OJO operating NZ144 SYD-WLG divert to AKL with front undercarriage hydraulic issues.

Sunday 14-March-2010 saw Airbus A320 ZK-OJB position AKL-WLG as NZ6729 before entering scheduled trans tasman services to SYD as NZ143.

Monday 15-March-2010 saw Airbus A320 ZK-OJH finish its spell of scheduled maintenance with ZK-OJA the next to enter maintenance after completing a scheduled NZ270/273 AKL-TBU-AKL.

Tuesday 16-March-2010 saw ZK-OJH return to trans tasman service as NZ939/936 AKL-OOL-AKL

The Tuesday NZ619/620/457/442/463/476 AKL-ZQN-AKL-WLG-AKL-WLG-AKL services, as previously recorded, continued over the period.  It is believed the AKL-WLG-AKL sectors are being used as testing/proving flights in preparation for the retirement of the Boeing 737-300s and introduction of the A320 to domestic service from 2011.

Pacific Blue
Monday 15-March-2010 saw DJ177/178 BNE-NAN-BNE canceled as a result of tropical cyclone Tomas, which was battering Fiji.  As a result Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBG arrived HLZ-BNE as DJ85 then remained on the ground during the day, before departing that evening as scheduled as DJ188 to AKL.

The early hours of Thursday 18-March-2010  saw Pacific Blue (Aust) Boeing 737-8FE VH-VUQ position MEL-CHC.  This brings VH-VUQ's Australian service to an end, as in CHC she will undergo maintenance to return her to NZCAA standards so she can return to Pacific Blue (NZ) service as ZK-PBL, a rego she is familiar with but hasn't worn in 15 months.

Monday 22-March-2010 weather issues in WLG (what a surprise) caused ZK-PBK operating DJ56 SYD-WLG to divert to AKL.  After a 2 hour delay it continued on its way.

Monday 22-March-2010 & Tuesday 23-March-2010 saw some confusion in PER.  Logs for Monday show VH-VUF operating PER-MEL-PER-{DJ9065}-PER with DJ9065 being only a 33 minute flight.  And VH-VUG is shown as arriving as DJ4173 DPS-PER.  While the Tuesday logs show VH-VUF as departing as DJ7172 a delayed PER-DPS service, while VH-VUG is shown as arriving as DJ9064 before operating the scheduled DJ4149 PER-HKT
(Any help to clarify these flights would be appreciated.  Please email me nzom_pilot at hotmail dot com or by twitter @nzompilot)

Tuesday 23-March-2010 saw the inaugural DJ117/118 AKL-CNS-AKL service.  Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBK took the honours of the first flight.

Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTP completed its scheduled maintenance in CHC and positioned back to AKL as QF6172 on Friday 19-March-2010.  It returned to service as QF132 AKL-MEL on Saturday 20-March-2010

Sunday 21-March-2010 saw Qantas Mainline Boeing 737-838 VH-VXQ operate QF25/26 AKL-MEL-AKL in lieu of Jetconnect Boeing 737-838 ZK-ZQA which remained on the ground in MEL during the day before operating QF131 MEL-AKL in the evening.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Air New Zealand new service video

Air New Zealand have released a video to explain their new trans tasman and pacific islands fare/service options, as mentioned in this earlier post.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Qantas International changes

Not meeting the criteria for the Apr-Jun changes and deserving of a thread of its own is the changes Qantas are making to their "international" services to/from AKL.

Monday 05-July-2010 sees QF141 SYD-AKL change from the scheduled Jetconnect operated Boeing 737-800 to a Qantas Mainline Airbus A330-200.  This change is effective Mo-Sa with the Sunday flight still operated by a Boeing 737-800.

Monday 05-July-2010 and Tuesday 06-July-2010 see QF114 AKL-SYD operated by Boeing 747-400 aircraft as they are phased out of operations.  QF114 will then be operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft Mo-Sa, with the Sunday flight remaining a Boeing 737-800.

These changes are in order to facilitate the aircraft changes required for QF25/26 AKL-LAX-AKL that will from Monday 05-July-2010 be operated by the Airbus A330-200 replacing the incumbent Boeing 747-400.

Aircraft will operate the following routing SYD-AKL-LAX//LAX-AKL-SYD  QF141/25//26/114 - 5 days per week the aircraft will operate LAX-JFK-LAX as QF108/107 giving those days/aircraft a QF141/25/108/107/26/114 round trip.

It appears with the exception of Sundays that the Jetconnect operated Boeing 737-800 that arrives in SYD as QF44 overnights as currently, then remains in SYD all day before operating QF113 back to AKL.

Qantas/Jetconnect trans tasman changes Apr-Jun

Qantas/Jetconnect changes for the coming quarter April-June

From Saturday 01-May-2010 QF56/55 & QF49/50 will be operated by a Boeing 737-800 replacing the current Boeing 767-300.
QF49 doesn't operate on the following dates in May 03/04/05/12/18/19/20/26.  With QF50 not operating on May 04/05/06/13/19/20/21/27.

From Sunday 28-March-2010 QF45/46 moves to a departure time 2hrs earlier than its current time.
Friday 30-April-2010 sees the last Boeing 767-300 service to CHC.
Saturday 01-May-2010 sees the 1st Boeing 737-800 service on QF45/46.

Air New Zealand trans tasman schedule changes Apr-Jun

Second up in the series looking at trans tasman schedule changes for the next quarter April-June, is Air New Zealand

Addition of 1 weekly return flight on Tuesday 01-June-2010, taking the total to 4x weekly.
Change to aircraft on friday flights from Friday 04-June-2010 from an A320 to a Boeing 767-300ER.

flights vary greatly over the period; noteable changes include: 
The standardisation of NZ135/136 to all Boeing 777-200ER, while remaining a daily flight.
Boeing 767-300 aircraft being added to selected NZ139/138 flights, up to 4x weekly.

Sunday 19-June-2010 and Sunday 27-June-2010 see a Boeing 777-200ER operating on NZ139/138

Currently operates 4x weekly Tu, Fr, Sa, Su.  From week starting 29-March-2010 increase to 5x weekly operating We-Su.
From 29-April-2010 reduction to 4x weekly with the loss of the Thursday service.
17-June-2010 sees reintroduction of Thursday service and return to 5x weekly schedule.

From week commencing 26-April-2010 reduction of NZ107/100 service from 5x weekly to 2 or 3x weekly
From Saturday 08-May-2010 reduction of NZ105/106 from daily to 6x weekly with removal of Saturday service.

Thursday 25-March-2010 sees the last NZ129/128 return service.
By week commencing 12-April-2010 all NZ123/124 service standardised to Boeing 777-200ER equipment, operating a daily return service.
By week commencing 31-May-2010 all NZ125/126 services standardised to A320 aircraft.
Friday 23-April-2010 see the NZ121/122 service dropped from 2x weekly to 1x weekly with the removal of the friday flight.

Increases to 5x weekly with the addition of a tuesday service from Tuesday 30-March-2010.
Reduces to 4x weekly with removal of monday service effective Monday 26-April-2010.
Additional Monday service operates on Monday 24-May-2010 and Monday 14-June-2010.

From Tuesday 30-March-2010 flights operate daily.
Thursday 6-May-2010 one off loss of service.
From Tuesday 01-May-2010 reduction to 6x weekly with loss of tuesday service.
From Thursday June-01-2010 reduction to 5x weekly with loss of thursday service.

currently operates 6x weekly with no thursday service.
Increase to daily service from Monday 29-March-2010 to Wednesday 28-April-2010.
Reduction to 6x weekly with loss of thursday service effective Thursday 29-April-2010.

Currently operates 10x weekly.
Reduction to 8x weekly from week commencing 29-March-2010 with removal of Wednesday and Friday afternoon flights.
From week commencing 26-April-2010 reduced to a daily service.

currently operates daily.
From Tuesday 27-April-2010 and Saturday 01-May-2010 reduced to 5x weekly with loss of tues and sat services.

currently operates 7x weekly with no tuesday service and 2x service on saturday.
For period Monday 29-March-2010 to Sunday 18-April-2010 flights operate 8x weekly with daily service and 2nd monday flight.
From Monday 19-April-2010 reduces to a daily service.

service reduction to 1x weekly from week commencing 03-May-2010.

service currently operates 13x weekly.
Reduction to 11x weekly from week commencing 29-March-2010 with loss of tuesday afternoon and wednesday morning flights.
From week commencing 26-April-2010 reduction in service to 9x weekly with loss of monday and thursday afternoon flights.

From week commencing 19-April-2010 reduction in service to a daily flight with the loss of sunday afternoon flight.

Resumption of seasonal service 2x weekly Wednesday 22-March-2010 and Saturday 27-March-2010.
Reducing to 1x weekly with removal of wednesday service effective 28-April-2010.

Introduction of seasonal service Thursday, Sunday, Monday 24/27/28-June-2010

Extra service added Friday 02-April-2010 and Monday 05-April-2010.
Last service operates Saturday 24-April-2010 before a break in service.
Service resumes Monday 21-June-2010 operating on Mo, Fr-Su.
Increasing to 5x weekly with the addition of a tuesday service from Tuesday 29-June-2010

Last service operates Saturday 03-April-2010 before a service break.
Service resumes on Saturday 26-June-2010.  The up to 2x weekly with addition of a tuesday flight from Tuesday 29-June-2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pacific Blue trans tasman schedule changes Apr-Jun

Over the next few days I'll post up the schedule changes for trans tasman flights for the next quarter April-June.

First up Pacific Blue

Some Pacific Blue schedules change this/next week and have been included here.
Also VH-VUQ has arrived back in CHC for re-integration into the Pacific Blue (NZ) fleet and is set to resume her old registration of ZK-PBL, hence a few Pacific Blue (Aust) flights DJ40** have reverted to Pacific Blue (NZ) DJ** flights

2x Weekly return DJ117/118 begins Tuesday 23-March-2010  & Saturday 27-March-2010
Additional flight Thursday 01-April-2010.

Change in time of the Wednesday flight yesterday 17-March-2010 from PM to AM flight.
Change in time of Saturday flight on Saturday 03-April-2010 moving from AM to PM flight

Reduction in service to daily return with the loss of 2nd Friday service

Change in time to Saturday flight on Saturday 03-April-2010 from PM to AM flight and routing now AKL-MEL-AKL replacing current MEL-AKL-MEL

Currently inbound BNE-HLZ on Th, Sa, Su. Change Monday 29-March-2010 to inbound BNE-HLZ Mo, Sa, Su
Currently outbound HLZ-BNE Sa, Su, Mo.  Change Tuesday 30-March-2010 to outbound Su, Mo, Tu.

Currently inbound SYD-HLZ on Mo, We, Fr and outbound HLZ-SYD on Tu, Th, Fr.
From week commencing 29-March-2010 reduction in service to 2x weekly We, Fr and change from overnighting in HLZ to a day flight SYD-HLZ-SYD.

Changes on Sunday 28-March-2010 from DJ4068/4069 to DJ68/67

Currently operating SYD-WLG-SYD on Mo, We, Fr
From Monday 29-March-2010 increasing to 4x weekly and changing to an overnight stay in WLG inbound SYD-WLG Mo, Tu, We, Fr and outbound WLG-SYD on Tu, We, Th, Sa

Currently operating 1x daily.
Saturday 27-March-2010 DJ4080/4081 changes to DJ80/81
From Sunday 28-March-2010 & Monday 29-March-2010 increase to 2x daily on Su, Mo
From Friday 02-April-2010 one additional flight inbound BNE-CHC Fr PM, overnighting then outbound CHC-BNE Sa AM

Currently 5x weekly flight AM outbound, PM inbound
Change in timing on Sunday outbound flight from Sunday 28-March-2010 from AM to PM
Change in timing on Monday outbound flight from Monday 29-March-2010 from AM to PM
Change in timing on Wednesday inbound flight from Wednesday 31-March-2010 from PM to AM

Currently daily flight.
From Wednesday 31-March-2010 reduction to 6x weekly with loss of Wednesday flight
From Saturday 03-April-2010 change in timing of Saturday inbound flight from PM to AM

Air New Zealand's BIG trans tasman changes

Air New Zealand plans to slash fares between Australia and New Zealand and move to a new way of selling seats on its new 171-seat trans-Tasman Airbus A320s.
Full report from The Australian

Key changes
  • axing business class into CHC and WLG (AKL business class will only be available on wide-body flights)
  • fare discounts - to be revealed on April 29th
  • airport waiting times cut to 45 mins by use of kiosks and streamlined check-in procedures
  • new ticket options from a simple almost LCC type to a delux package

The new services will be introduced onto CHC routes from August and roll out on other parts of the network from late November.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Air NZ to increase domestic capacity

Air New Zealand has announced that it will add capacity to its domestic network from January next year due to growing demand and an expected surge in traffic due to the Rubgy World Cup.
Reports Australian Aviation

With the introduction of the first of the new domestic A320 fleet, and a "stay of execution" on one of the leased 733s.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Notes for March 13

Thursday 18-February-2010 saw inclement weather in ZQN effect services, with VH-VQC scheduled to operate  the scheduled CHC-ZQN JST277 instead position to AKL as JST7986VH-VQR scheduled for JST279 AKL-ZQN positioned to CHC as JST2792.  Later in the day VH-VQC operated an extra AKL-CHC-AKL rotation as JST7985/7702

Friday 26-February-2010 saw VH-VQU operating JST238/239 AKL-OOL-AKL go unserviceable in OOL.  It positioned back to AKL later in the day as JST7991VH-VQE replaced it on JST204/205 AKL-SYD-AKL albeit a very delayed service that operated overnight.

Saturday 27-February-2010 saw JST253/258 AKL-CHC and CHC-AKL sectors canceled.

Sunday 28-February-2010 saw VH-VQE position from AKL to CHC as JST7983 before commencing regular scheduled operations.

Wednesday 10-March-2010 saw the unusual event of an aircraft change in Brisbane, with VH-VQR arriving as JST172 from CHC and VH-VQF departing to CHC as JST175 (tasman aircraft usually swap in MEL)

The last two weeks have seen JST254/255 a CHC-AKL-CHC rotation not operated on  Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturdays - no change has been noted as yet on the Jetstar online timetable but the flights have not been operated and do not show up in their Arrivals/Departure Flight Status search.

Air New Zealand
Thursday 18-February-2010 saw some A320 positioning flights within NZ.  ZK-OJA positioned from WLG to CHC as NZ6501 after completing its scheduled WLG-MEL-WLG run.  ZK-OJC completed its scheduled CHC-BNE-CHC run before positioning to WLG as NZ6502ZK-OJB operated the scheduled NZ619 AKL-ZQN before operating back to AKL via WLG as NZ6502/6722

Saturday 20-February-2010 saw the completion of maintenance on ZK-OJG which then positioned form CHC to AKL as NZ6504.

Monday 22-February-2010 saw ZK-OJH enter scheduled maintenance.

Saturday 06-March-2010 saw ZK-OJM remain in MEL overnight instead of operating the scheduled NZ158 return to WLGZK-OJM operating NZ158 finally arrived back into WLG mid afternoon on Sunday 07-March-2010.

Tuesday 02-March-2010 saw ZK-OJG operate double AKL-WLG-AKL sectors today as NZ457/442/463/476, with ZK-OJB operating these sectors on Tuesday 09-March-2010

Thursday 11-March-2010 saw ZK-OJA operate an AKL-CHC-AKL sector as NZ527/520 and ZK-OJM operate a WLG-AKL-WLG sector as NZ464/467

Pacific Blue
Monday 15-February-2010 saw ZK-PBJ operate an additional overnight service BNE-APW as DJ9093.  It returned to BNE early on Tuesday 16-February-2010 as DJ9090ZK-PBF operated AKL-APW-AKL as DJ8091/8096 instead of the scheduled AKL-TBU-SYD-TBU-AKL service.  These additional flights were to cope with demand after the passing of tropical cyclone Rene.

Monday 15-February-2010 saw ZK-JTQ operate its scheduled WLG-SYD-WLG service before positioning to AKL as QF6172ZK-JTS positioned AKL-WLG as QF6171 before operating the scheduled WLG-MEL-AKL service.

Monday 22-February-2010 saw ZK-JTP position AKL-CHC as QF6171 before entering the ANZES hangar for scheduled maintenance.

Tuesday 02-March-2010 saw the first visit to WLG of a Jetconnect Boeing 737-838 with ZK-ZQC arriving from SYD as QF117.

Tuesday 09-March-2010 saw Boeing 737-838 ZK-ZQB make its first visit to WLG  arriving from MEL as QF37

As previously mentioned Qantas Mainline's Sunday flights SYD-ZQN-SYD QF183/184 were scheduled to end on Sunday 21-March-2010 which they duely did.  After a one week break the Sunday service has returned under the standard SYD-ZQN-SYD flight number QF121/122 with VH-VXK operating the flight on Sunday 07-March-2010.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vincent Aviation Expansion

Flight global reports big news for Wellington based Vincent Aviation, with their Darwin base set to grow with the addition of two Saab SF340B aircraft, and with interest being shown in operating ATR42s.

Vincent Aviation, a New Zealand-based carrier with operations overseas, has signed a dry-lease for Saab 340Bs and has longer-term plans to buy or lease an ATR 42.
Full report

Vincent's Wellington based ZK registered fleet consists of  1 of each of the following B1900C, B1900D, DHC-8-102, C402C, BAe J31.

Pacific Blue Notes

Pacific Blue launch Seasonal Brisbane-Queenstown flights
Pacific Blue will be flying Queensland skiers straight to the slopes this winter with two direct flights a week from Brisbane to New Zealand's ski capital of Queenstown from the end of June.
News Article

DJ110 BNE-ZQN 1015-1535 Fr
DJ110 BNE-ZQN 0940-1500 Su

DJ113 ZQN-BNE 1630-1815 Fr
DJ113 ZQN-BNE 1600-1745 Su

The seasonal flights will operate twice weekly from 25-June-2010 until 12 September-2010.

Pacific Blue have also announced that Corporate Plus guests and Velocity Gold members will have complimentary use of Wellington Airport's new lounge from 16-February-2010.
The airline and the airport have signed an agreement that allows the two groups of Guests to enjoy the airport-operated Wild at Heart Lounge free of charge when they are traveling on Pacific Blue international or domestic flights from Wellington*.

Press Release

Monday, March 1, 2010

Mixed news this week for Marlborough's Aviation Industry

Firstly good news for the training industry, with the opening of the new workshops at Woodbourne, for the joint NMIT/RNZAF aviation engineering training facility.

The partnership between NMIT and the Royal New Zealand Air Force is away flying with the opening of an aviation engineering facility at Base Woodbourne.
The building was to be officially opened by Defence Minister Wayne Mapp this afternoon.
Report from the Marlborough Express
Secondly a delay in news on the possible saving of the 100 jobs at Safe Air
It will be two to three weeks before Safe Air staff know whether extra Royal New Zealand Air Force work will be injected into the company to save their jobs, as the axe hovers over more than 100 positions at the Woodbourne aircraft engineering firm.
 Marlborough Express Report

Finally a feel good story on the visit to Woodbourne of the Southern DC3 trust's DC3 ZK-AMY, as part of its DC3 Heartland Tour.
Blenheim brothers Rob and Tony Grigg were going up in the DC3 for a birthday treat yesterday.
The historic plane, owned by the Southern DC3 Trust, arrived at Woodbourne Air Base to take Marlburians for a spin as part of the DC3 Heartland Tour of the country.
From Marlborough Express

Saturday, February 27, 2010

QF trans tasman changes

Qantas have released their Northern Summer 2010 schedules which includes changes to selected trans tasman flights. These changes signal the end of QF B767-300s flying into NZ, with the last 3 return flights 1x CHC and 2x AKL being replaced with B737-800 flights.  These flights will initially be operated by Qantas mainline B73Hs but will eventually be replaced by the yet to be delivered Jetconnect B73Hs.

The last QF B767-300 service will end with QF45/46 on Friday 30-April-2010.
The new daily B737-800 service will commence Saturday 01-May-2010, and will also be re-timed.
QF45 SYD-CHC 0715-1220
QF46 CHC-SYD 1325-1450

The final B767-300 service will arrive into AKL on Friday 30-April-2010 as QF49 and return to SYD on Saturday 01-May-2010 as QF50, B737-800 services will be introduced on Saturday 01-May-2010 beginning with the QF55/56 service, these too will see a slight re-timing.
QF55 SYD-AKL 0925-1430
QF56 AKL-SYD 1545-1725
QF49 SYD-AKL 1820-2325
QF50 AKL-SYD 0615-07553

These changes leave trans-tasman QF flights solely in the hands of B737s with the Jetconnect and Mainline B737-800s and also the Jetconnect B737-400s.  The only other QF aircraft scheduled into NZ is the B747-400 on QF26/25 LAX-AKL-LAX
Interestingly enough, both the B734s and the B747s are set to be replaced in the foreseeable future with the B734s being replaced with more B738s and the B747s set to be replaced with A330s.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Profit jumps in H1

Some good news out there in the financial scene for the NZ Aviation industry in the recent H1 profit releases.

Auckland Airport: 
Auckland Airport profit up 4.7% in H1

Auckland Airport has posted a 4.7% growth in net profit for the six months ended 31 December 2009, as passenger demand recovered.
Reports Flight Global here

Air New Zealand:
ANZ profit rises to NZ$56 million in H1
Air New Zealand (ANZ) reported a sharp increase in half-year earnings today amid a fall in demand resulting from tough operating conditions due to the global financial crisis.
Also reported by Flight Global here

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More stories on the Safe Air staff saga

Three more stories in today's edition of the Marlborough Express, and online at on the saga of the indefinite delay in the C130 upgrade, threatening the jobs of over 100 Blenheimites.  Click the story heading to view.

Safe Air contractor faces action
The Government is to trigger financial penalties and possible legal action against a United States contractor responsible for delays in upgrading New Zealand's Hercules aircraft fleet.

'Wait and see' for workers
Safe Air employees looked downcast as they left a meeting where they had been told of big staff cuts yesterday.

 Defence to try to line up Safe Air contracts
The scramble is on prevent one of Marlborough's biggest employers from having to lay off a quarter of its staff.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Air New Zealand to slash 100 jobs at Safe Air

Sad news for the aviation industry in Marlborough with the biggest employer Safe Air, part of the Air New Zealand group, set to slash up to 100 jobs.

Air New Zealand will lay off about 100 jobs at its engineering subsidiary Safe Air in Blenheim due to the indefinite postponement of a major contract to upgrade the Royal New Zealand Air Force C130 transport aircraft.

Full stuff Business day story HERE

Marlborough Express Story HERE

Woes for Marlborough Aviation and Tourism industries

Harking back to my roots as Marlborough Aviation Scene for a couple of posts here.

Details of the Aviation industry woes in the following post, but the tourism woes are as follows;

The lack of high end accommodation seems to be effecting the Marlborough Tourism industry, with the regular tourist groups bought in by Tauck, not being able to stay in the region overnight.

The groups fly in from Rotorua then fly out the same day to Wellington.  Tauck are using Air Chathams Convair 580s for their flights, they formally used Pionair CV580s.

Full Story from the Marlborough Express HERE

Photo Scott Hammond / Marlborough Express

Monday, February 15, 2010

Notes for February 15th

Air New Zealand
Friday 22-January-2010 saw some mid afternoon fog in WLG resulting in Airbus A320-232 ZK-OJN operating NZ142 SYD-WLG diverting to AKL until the fog cleared and it was able to return to WLG. 

Monday 01-February-2010 saw Airbus A320 ZK-OJG enter the hanger at CHC for maintenance.

Thursday 04-February-2010 saw Airbus A320 ZK-OJC opearate an airborne return flight from/to AKL as NZ6305

Friday 05-February-2010 saw ZK-OJE operate a similar flight AKL-flight-AKL as NZ6306

Friday 12-February-2010 saw ZK-OJN operating NZ144 SYD-WLG divert to AKL, OJN departed AKL on Saturday13-February-2010 as NZ6293 bound for BNE

Friday 22-January-2010 saw Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTQ operating QF47 SYD-WLG divert to AKL due to the afternoon fog, it also continued onto WLG after the fog had cleared.

Wednesday 3-February-2010 saw the return of Boeing 737-476 ZK-JTS from scheduled maintenance in CHC, positioning CHC-AKLJTS re-entered revenue servivce on Thursday 04-February-2010 as QF116 AKL-BNE

Friday 22-Jan-2010 saw the WLG fog effect services with Airbus A320 VH-VQA operating JST265 AKL-WLG return to AKL as JST7265 before completing the service after the fog had cleared.

Friday 29-January-2010 saw the introduction to trans-tasman services for Airbus A320-232 VH-VGZ operating JST171 MEL-CHC.

Friday 05-February-2010 saw JST253/256 AKL-CHC-AKL canceled, bring the number of cancellations in  2010 to just 4! a remarkable improvement on the records set by JQ in 2009.

Pacific Blue
Tuesday 26-January-2010 saw VH-VOX position MEL-PER as DJ9061 before operating a charter on Wednesday 27-January-2010 PER-XCH-PER-MEL as DJ9001/9004/9004

Thursday 28-January-2010 and Friday 29-January-2010 saw ZK-PBB undergo maintenance in BNE resulting in a few delays and cancellations. 

Friday 29-January-2010 and Saturday 30-January-2010 saw VH-VUQ operate BNE-AKL-BNE twice to cover the maintenance on PBB.

Friday 29-January-2010  also saw some early morning fog issues in WLG causing the AKL-WLG and CHC-WLG flights to continue on and position to CHC and AKL respectively.

Sunday 31-January-2010 saw ZK-PBG operate HLZ-BNE then the following BNE-NAN-BNE-AKL flights canceled.  PBG also spent Monday 01-February-2010 undergoing maintenance in BNE, with the result of a SYD-AKL-SYD sector canceled to allow the aircraft (ZK-PBM) to operate a delayed  AKL-BNE-VLI-BNE-CHC service

Tuesday 02-February-2010 saw the reduction back to 3x weekly services on SYD-WLG-SYD back from daily over the DEC-JAN period.

Wednesday 03-February-2010 saw VH-VUN operate a charter flight to Christmas Island operating on the following route MEL-PER-XCH-PER-MEL as DJ9061/9001/9004/9004

Saturday 06-February-2010 saw ZK-PBG operate AKL-MEL as DJ9002 in leiu of the scheduled DJ167

Tuesday 09-February-2010 saw VH-VUQ position BNE-PER as DJ9061Wednesday 10-February-2010 saw it operate the charter flights PER-XCH-PER-BNE as DJ9001/9002/9002

Saturday 13-February-2010 saw the first of the Pacific island flight disruptions due to tropical cyclone Rene, with ZK-PBF operating DJ91/98/97/92 AKL-APW-BNE-APW-AKL diverting to TBU on the DJ91 leg with DJ98/97/92 canceled and PBF returning to AKL as DJ9091.

Sunday 14-February-2010 saw DJ91/90/93/92 AKL-APW-SYD-APW-AKL delayed with the APW-SYD-APW legs canceled.  ZK-PBK operated the re-timed DJ91/92 AKL-APW-AKL flight.

Sunday 14-February-2010 as saw ZK-PBM undergo a few mechanical issues resulting in DJ83/82 CHC-BNE-CHC being delayed with the flight operating as an overnight flight, with ZK-PBJ operating after the completion of her domestic duties.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jetstar open Lounge at Auckland Domestic

Jetstar have opened their first domestic pay-per-use lounge at Auckland airport.
Passengers travelling on Jetstar's domestic network can purchase entry to the Akarana Lounge to enjoy free food and beverages, as well as big-screen entertainment and business facilities including workstation areas, free Wi-Fi access and computer terminals. If booked online the charge is $9.99 a person or $15 for those who pay at the door.

 Full NZ Herald article HERE

Also mentioned in the story is further improvements that Jetstar intend to offer on the NZ Domestic network
Jetstar executive manager commercial David Koczkar said further customer initiatives would be rolled out across the domestic network including high levels of self-service at check-in and the introduction of SMS boarding passes.

Photo Greg Bowker/NZ Herald

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pacific Blue win TV Commercial Award

'Happy Flying' the airline’s catchy television ad, which features cabin crew and pilots and is set to the tune of the Spanish dance tune ‘Macarena’, was voted Best TV Commercial at the Low Cost Airlines World Asia Pacific 2010 conference held in Singapore last weekend.

Pacific Blue are proudly announcing their win on their website HERE

And here is the you tube video to see what all the fuss is about

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Air New Zealands new cabin's showcase website

Air New Zealand have launched their new website, showcasing the new services and cabins, taking flight with the Boeing 777-300s being introduced from November-2010 as mentioned in this POST

BOC Aviation and ANZ sign lease for A320s

Singapore-based BOC Aviation and Air New Zealand (ANZ) have signed agreements for the long-term lease of two new Airbus A320-200 aircraft.

Reports Flight Global HERE

The two A320s will arrive towards the end of 2011 and will be the first of the A320s to replace the current Boeing 737-300 fleet on domestic routes.  They will be part of the last four Air New Zealand A320s delivered without Sharklets.  They will be registered ZK-OJP, OJQ, OJR, OJS.

The remaining 10 A320s on order will be delivered with the new sharklets and will be registered in the ZK-OX? series, and will enter Trans-Tasman and Pacific Island service allowing the current A320 fleet to replace the remaining 733s.

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