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Old 27th Oct 2007, 06:18
  #14 (permalink)  
Friendly Pelican
Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: The Sandpit
Posts: 25
Aha! Someone finally gets it.

Well done, Emu!

You've put your finger on the common thread between so many different, apparently isolated incidents.

I watched with horror as AN imploded. Despite living here in NZ, I had many friends from an earlier life who lost their jobs in that fiasco. I was just as embarrassed as a knee-jerk anti-Kiwi flavour developed here on PPRuNe, even among those with whom I had debated in a comradely manner previously. (That's you Buster! )

I offer to the audience that NZ were not the incompetent interlopers that it has suited others to portray them.

Despite appearances at the time, I'm firmly of the opinion that NZ/AN could have, should have, worked. I hold that opinion to this day, and feel that an NZ/DJ alliance would not only be a superb option for both airlines, but would give a certain degree of closure to personalities who fought hard on the way down. (GT was a dad at my daughters' school. No- one deserves to have the lights put out the way he had. I hear he's lost 20-odd kilos recently: great to hear! Even better that he may now have the sweetest of all opportunities: the one to say:'I told you so'.)

I believe that both airlines were victims of a Singapore-centric d!ck size competition.

At the time of NZ's acquisition of AN, NZ's largest shareholder was Brierley Investments, an originally-NZ but by that time Singapore-domiciled company. Brierley's overwhelming shareholder was one Temasek investments. That's right, the same Temasek who owned SQ, and who were sniffing around AN effectively delayed the implementation of NZ's recovery plan for AN.

Why? As I observed before, It all comes down to d!ck size; and these guys were playing a game where the airlines concerned weren't actually the issue!

As I said, what then eventuated at the airlines was a cross between Greek tragedy and French farce. I copped attitude which not only did I not deserve, but neither did my airline or country. By the same token, I can empathise with the raw nerves which AN's demise left among its 'family'.

The final indignity was that New Zealand's Labour government, who would seek to portray themselves as internationalists, took the isolationist option to rescue only NZ and not AN. Six years after the events in question, both NZ and AN (now in its DJ embodiment) are financially healthy, but without the strategic upside that a unitary organisation would have afforded. (Watch this space as the international industry comes to town.)

I don't profess to have a crystal ball; but I do know that history offers us lessons which, if left unheeded, we are doomed to repeat.

I studied Latin for six years: my last reading was Aeneid II - the fall of Troy. In that book, a Trojan looks askance at the Horse which has been left behind and says:'Timeo Danaos, et dona ferentes'.

In the context of Australasia's aviation market, Laocoon's message could not be more apposite: I mistrust the Singaporeans, even when they bring us gifts.
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