View Full Version : Pacific Blue looks at NZ domestic routes

14th Jan 2004, 08:25
Wed "Dominion Post"

Pacific Blue looks at domestic routes
14 January 2004

Budget airline Pacific Blue could be flying a New Zealand domestic service by the middle of this year, chief executive Tony Marks said.

The Virgin Blue offshoot's first Boeing 737-800 touched down at its Christchurch base yesterday, two weeks ahead of Pacific Blue's first scheduled trans-Tasman service.

The aircraft would undergo a rigorous inspection by the Civil Aviation Authority and a series of flights before its inaugural service between Christchurch and Brisbane on January 29, Mr Marks said.

A second aircraft was due to arrive later next month, in time for the start of the airline's services between Christchurch and Sydney and between Wellington and Sydney from March 10.

A decision still had to be made on how a third aircraft, due by the middle of the year, would be used, he said. Much would depend on how existing routes were performing and "whether this is the right time to contemplate going domestic".

A domestic service was likely to be based on the main trunk route of Auckland Wellington and Christchurch, and could lead to further airfare reductions.

"You have got to do Auckland-Wellington and Auckland-Christchurch. But there are one or two areas where the runways are capable of being served by a jet and are currently not being served by a jet," Mr Marks said.

Airports with significant international services would be favoured. However, centres like Hamilton, Dunedin and Rotorua could also be considered, he said.

Another option would be to fly a circular route combining domestic and trans-Tasman destinations in one day to maximise use of the aircraft.

An example could be a service from Hamilton to Wellington and on to Sydney, returning to Christchurch, then Wellington and back to Hamilton, Mr Marks said.

But there could be a sting in the tail for the regional airports vying for Pacific Blue's attention.

Pacific Blue could require smaller airports to underwrite those services by covering any losses, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation Studies managing director Peter Harbison said from Sydney.

Dunedin appears to figure in Pacific Blue's plans, with the airport saying it had been approached by the airline.

The airport is spending $20 million to upgrade its terminal facilities in the next two years and is also considering lengthening its 1900-metre runway another 500 metres.

Nearly three years ago, British tycoon Sir Richard Branson named a direct Dunedin to Auckland jet service as an example of a route in which Virgin Blue could be interested.

Air New Zealand almost immediately introduced a similar service, a move industry observers considered a defensive ploy by the national carrier to discourage Virgin Blue's entry to the market.

Meanwhile, Pacific Blue is talking with Auckland International Airport over access to domestic terminal facilities.

Mr Harbison said Pacific Blue was unlikely to take on the Auckland to Sydney market, which was already hotly contested. He had been talking to Virgin Blue about launching a link between Auckland and Newcastle, the gateway to Australia's Hunter Valley.

Freedom Air abandoned its twice weekly service on the route in September 2002 after nine months, due to a lack of demand.


14th Jan 2004, 14:56
Tauranga - NZTG has 1850metres already. NO VOR/DME though!

Barbers Pole
15th Jan 2004, 05:11
Not gonna operate AKL-SYD, what a bunch of chickens!! The champions of competition (we'll halve the airfares) are too scared to compete on a competive route. Any domestic stuff they do will be cherry picking. :yuk:

15th Jan 2004, 17:47
"Meanwhile, Pacific Blue is talking with Auckland International Airport over access to domestic terminal facilities"

Bet that was a short discussion. Where are they gonna go?? No room for them at AKL domestic.

TAY 611
16th Jan 2004, 03:00
Chickens you say..I'd rather say "smart" operators that aren't being propped up by tax payers. Hmmm 3 B737 operators on the NZ main trunk? Someone has gotta lose out after all the blood has been spilt and the cheap fares have gone. Your posts on this, and other threads, display, that as an ANZ employee you never really understood or felt the effects of how much difficulty you were in when AN went down and continue to live in a naive belief of excellence by virtue of the tie you wear. If this is also shared by many of your work colleagues then its time to re evaluate as there is some tough and "smart" competition on the block.

16th Jan 2004, 07:58
No VOR/DME at NZTG - and the point would be ??? There is an NDB/DMEand if the approach is in the FMC DB and can be flown in LNAV, what does it matter there is no VOR? DME/DME uopdates using HN/TG/RO/WK will be available to low level into TG, (if the acft concetrned on't have GPS updates as well) -

TAY 611
16th Jan 2004, 08:58
Correct me If I'm wrong but I think the NG uses GPS update?

Barbers Pole
19th Jan 2004, 05:18

You obviously never read any of my posts about that sorry saga.

Anyway the point is Branson is only interested in two things, making MONEY and having a go at the establishment despite his noble speechs about giving the public a better deal.

On SYD-AKL they know they can't undercut anyone, at the moment you can go on emirates for $399 return with all the trimmings they provide.
The reason they are basing themselves in CHC is simple "money" the rentals are cheaper,the council has coughed up some advertising money,etc and he knows he's only up againist 2 operators.

Another point, we aren't "being" propped up by the tax payer we "were" propped up and since then have been standing on our own feet and doing quite nicely. What people have to realise is that AirNZ is very different now too when it was under BIL.

Tape It Shut
20th Jan 2004, 06:53
Barbers Pole

You are as bad as the management running the Legacy carriers. Calling PB chicken for not entering the AKL-SYD market is silly. The airline Emirates has the highest pay rates, the newest aircraft, best service and offers the lowest airfares. They are on a huge loss-maker propped up by oil sales and a sheik that is desperate to set up global companies as his oil supply is gone in 20 years.

The sad thing is I just met someone who was quoted $600 plus on Air NZ but cancelled after being offered $399 on Emirates. PB will never enter this market and if Air NZ was smart it would pull out and take advantage of the loss Emirates is making by codesharing.

Ironically Air NZ is facing its own tactics whereby the competition is loss-making to control the market.

Barbers Pole
21st Jan 2004, 04:07

First of all, Emirates was initially set up with some funding fom oil but is now standing and running on it's own merits and not being propped up by oil sales!! The sad thing is that they are making a Buck out of the tasman thru the fact that they can put 20 tons of High Value freight on the 777.

Secondly, you can only charge as much on an international route as what your competitor does (as proven by your friend & whats sad about them getting a cheap deal on a top full service airline?)
For us on the Tasman it has always been QF undercutting us..

Tape It Shut
21st Jan 2004, 10:12
Emirates does not benefit from oil money?

How much tax do they pay?

What are the landing fees and airport costs to them from the oil funded airport?

What are the local CAA fees from the oil funded CAA?

What interest rates do they pay when they borrow all that oil money?

Open your eyes.

The SAD part I mentioned was for you and all Air NZ colleagues as these are passengers Air NZ will never see again.

Kwaj mate
21st Jan 2004, 10:26
Pole - you are a typical techie with no knowledge of the industry; & have a bad case of 'foot & mouth' as well.
BTW, if the company was not making money (DJ or even NZ) you'd not be on the payroll.
Smart, not dumb moves, pay DH's like you