View Full Version : Pac Blue pulls out of NZ Domestic OPS

16th Aug 2010, 00:35
Pacific Blue is to exit its New Zealand domestic operations as part of a wider review of its network.
The airline will also boost trans-Tasman services and generally increase its Australian services to South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Virgin Blue Group of Airlines chief executive John Borghetti said the ongoing network review was aimed at delivering increased competition and capturing growth opportunities.
"As we enter a new era for Virgin Blue it is vital that we have the right aircraft on the right routes if we are to fully exploit our competitive advantages in the context of the Group's three core business: domestic short haul, international medium haul and international long haul.
"We are adding capacity to routes with strong revenue potential and accordingly, removing capacity from services which are underperforming," he said.
Pacific Blue will cease flying New Zealand domestic routes and redeploy two Boeing 737-800 New Zealand-based aircraft on to trans-Tasman and medium haul international routes. These aircraft have 180 seats.
The New Zealand domestic network includes Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Auckland with 106 flights a week, including twice daily services from Christchurch to Wellington and Christchurch to Auckland.
"Guests holding forward bookings on New Zealand domestic routes from 18 October onward will be provided with re-accommodation and refund options,'' Borghetti said.
Growing capacity on trans-Tasman routes was a positive step that would see an increase in New Zealand-based staff, he said.
Pacific Blue currently employs around 450 New Zealanders at crew bases in Christchurch and Auckland and its head office in Christchurch and the increase in international flying means up to 100 new jobs would be created.
Virgin Blue is the 100 per cent owner of Pacific Blue, and in turn is owned by major shareholder of Virgin Group, co-founder CEO Brett Godfrey, Virgin Blue staff and other shareholders. Founder Richard Branson is president of Virgin Blue.
Separately, Pacific Blue and national airline Air New Zealand have proposed an alliance on trans- Tasman services. Both airlines operate on the Tasman and have applied to regulators to combine their networks to better compete against Qantas and Jetstar.
Key route and frequency changes:
* From September 17 Dunedin to Brisbane services will increase from three to four flights a week
* From October 31 Christchurch to Melbourne will increase from four flights per week to a daily service.

Looks like some changes are finally being announced

16th Aug 2010, 00:50
Well there it is. No suprise I guess but it looks like the only intl flying done by VB crew from early next year will be PER-HKT. But wait there's some great new opportunities that will excite us all apparently. I'll go and get my vaseline now to be ready.:}:\

16th Aug 2010, 00:50

16th Aug 2010, 04:13
Air New Zealand has just issued a press release saying it will carry "disrupted Pacific Blue passengers".

"Pacific Blue contacted us this morning to see if we could carry their disrupted passengers," said Air NZ group general manager for Australasia Bruce Parton.

"We have confirmed that we're able to re-accommodate their customers and understand Pacific Blue will soon contact passengers to discuss their options."

Passengers will be able to be rebooked onto Air New Zealand services as close to their currently booked departure time as possible.

Pacific Blue axing NZ domestic flights - Travel - NZ Herald News (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10666453)

I guess another sign of VB/NZ's ever closer relationship. A domestic codeshare is looking very likely now IMO.

16th Aug 2010, 04:17
Virgin Blue's chief executive, John Borghetti, said there was no end in sight to Pacific Blue losing money in New Zealand because three airlines were competing for travellers in a country of just 4 million people. Mr Borghetti declined to reveal the accumulated losses from its New Zealand-based operations but said they had been in the tens of millions of dollars since it began there about three years ago.
"The prospects of it turning a profit are not good so there really is no point continuing," he told BusinessDay.

Interesting quote from JB, just goes to prove NZ is really too small for 3 airlines! Probably to small for 2 as well?

16th Aug 2010, 04:27
Make no mistake. This IS the start of VB's own jetstar. PB crew will now fly from NZ bases through to Australia and then operate ALL the flying from Australia to Asia and Pacific Is. Add to that he has said Pacific Blue will expand to a Medium haul airline into further asia ports. Big test for what the VB pilots will do now. Lets just hope they don't get enough crew to do it on those atrocious conditions. But I am probably wishfully thinking on that last point :(

rescue 1
16th Aug 2010, 06:31
PB the medium haul international...guess that means they'll be operating any medium size twin aisle jet??

dirty deeds
16th Aug 2010, 08:27

You are correct, VB's Jetstar has arrived. And looks like they will do the Domestic wide body too. The car salesman has arrived, did not take long to stamp the QF style of management upon the VB group. I wonder if in two years the Board will try and sell the company to a Private Equity firm for a $100m bonus?

United we stand, divided we fall? Go the Sydney AIPA/AFAP/VIPA meeting, its time to band together and be counted!

Capt Basil Brush
16th Aug 2010, 11:19
This is a copy from the Meeting thread;

Announced today, 12 upcoming VB Commands cancelled due to PB taking over VB flying. Also announced, PB advertising for 737 Capts!!

The routes being taken over have nothing to to do flights out of NZ where PB should belong. They are all flights originating in Aus, and DPS is not even on PB's AOC.

This is costing Australian jobs, as intake courses have been cancelled as well.

dirty deeds
16th Aug 2010, 11:22
This may be true, however the salaries and conditions will degrade to a point where the travelling public may want to travel from SYD to MEL for $20, but it wont be me up the front taking them there, I will leave that to the Pilot who wants to work for peanuts and work under conditions akin to a forklift driver (no disrespect to forklift drivers). Truck master, anyone got the number for truck master!
Obviously Australians are too expensive to employ as VB management have stated:

"PB pilots are about 25% less expensive than VB pilots".

This was in a recent memo to all Pilots.

Gotta love em, bless their little cotton calculators.

16th Aug 2010, 12:13
Cactus, I was just editing my post when I realised that I'm so dis-engaged right now I couldn't be bothered even posting. Suffice to say I agree with your post. Competition dictates that we now have to compete to some degree at the basement conditions enjoyed at Jokestar and Tiger. All that remains now is to turn up in Sydney on the 23rd and do something about the future, as opposed to bickering about the past or present.

piston broke again
16th Aug 2010, 13:08
I think a lot of people are jumping the gun...this is just 'phase one' of the restructure people. Give it some time for all the other avenues to be addressed. How long has he been in the job? 2 months?....Commands weren't cancelled, just pushed back. 49 new commands in 6 months after xmas and I'm tipping more aircraft arriving after that. 490,000 extra seats or something over a year. I don't see this is as bad news yet...

16th Aug 2010, 13:18
Announced today, 12 upcoming VB Commands cancelled due to PB taking over VB flying. Also announced, PB advertising for 737 Capts!!

I thought it said that those 12 commands were deferred, and that VB would still need 49 commands between June 2010 - June 2011, the financial year.

PB needed two.

16th Aug 2010, 16:19
I've never seen a more accurate post than your last.:ok: Right on the goddamn money, so to speak.:D:D:D:ok:


16th Aug 2010, 23:59
Shredder, you don't play chess, do you? What happens here is that the company throws you an empty promise, an arbitrary number if you will, and diverts your attention from the fact that this is all about OFFSHORING AUSTRALIAN JOBS.

The Bunglerat
17th Aug 2010, 00:11
After many years of being rogered in this industry I now take pride in doing all I can within my power to contribute toward an executive manager not receiving a bonus. One only has to do some research to discover that denying a request to extend a shift, uplifting incorrectly tagged destination bags (ramps favourite trick, thanks lads), burning a little excess fuel (just enough to so that Ops don't notice yet just enough to bring yourself some secret personal satisfaction), damaging a uniform, a sick day so one can enjoy some surf down at Cooly, telling passengers there is no alcohol left onboard while the carts stay full and the list goes on, can be highly rewarding for ones self esteem, and really its the little things in life that bring us pleasure !!

A very professional attitude - NOT. Sounds like if you're so disenchanted with your lot in life, why not vote with your feet and take your business elsewhere.

I'm not disagreeing with the fact that the management culture within the company leaves a lot to be desired, and if circumstances on the day prevent me from achieving OTP, I certainly don't lose any sleep when it's beyond my control anyway - but nor do I go out of my way to run the show off the rails either. Regardless of any animosity towards management, there's still the issue of personal & professional integrity, not to mention consideration for the punters who pay their money to get from "A" to "B" & didn't ask to be caught up in the firing line between us & "them" in the Village.

17th Aug 2010, 00:38

A moment of sanity. Thankyou:ok:

17th Aug 2010, 00:54
Have the VB bean-counters looked at transferring management positions (and perhaps their own) to PB - I believe there are some big $$$ to be saved...:rolleyes:

17th Aug 2010, 05:09
Nice try troll, I am not even going to waste any more time typing what you deserve on here :*

17th Aug 2010, 06:06
Just to put things in perspective - PB 737 FO's are (at current exchange rates) paid approximately 25% less than a VB Ejet FO...

The Hill
17th Aug 2010, 07:36
Not to mention they fork out AUD$38K for a type rating :ugh:

17th Aug 2010, 07:45
Certainly isn't the first domestic airline in NZ to fail and won't be the last. I never flew with them on the domestic run because they didn't fly where I wanted to go (into the regions), and if I did ever fly to Auckland it was always to connect with an international flight - so was booked either with Air NZ or Qantas (back when the red rat actually flew domestic).

But they served their purpose, they made domestic flying in New Zealand a lot more affordable to those in the major centres. But if they wanted to have a real go, maybe a bit of competition into the larger regional routes might have helped. As Invercargill, Tauranga, Nelson, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Rotorua are still gold mines for Air New Zealand..

Mr. Hat
17th Aug 2010, 08:36
As expected with the withdrawal from the loss making NZ ops, the PB crews/aircraft will be redeployed on the other international routes bali etc. Thats one side, the other side is setting up a base in OZ and/or doing domestic flying under lower conditions. This will and should piss a lot of people off. Note to self: attend meeting on 23rd.

Probably not a good move with an up and coming EBA negotiation and launch of a new brand/strategy. In fact here in lies the opportunity for the VB pilots to drive a very hard bargain indeed. Critical business impressions will be made during this period and disruption/poor OTP is no way to impress/win over the new market. Read : Stranglehold.

As for trying to compete with Tiger and JQ forget it. Some of the posters here would have to have their salaries halved just to start with. Mates at JQ have no end of stories of low cost tactics that drive them insane on a daily basis. Have a read of their EBA, its a shocker. There are other gems like not getting paid on time or rosters being late or being called out off reserve for sim after sim after sim and finally making a mistake and being removed from line. The reality in my opinion is that B. Buchanan has only just started with the aggressive tactics. This is the tip of the iceberg.

You may think you are hurting VB managers by going late etc but what you are doing is helping the likes of J* (BB/AJ) and Tiger (SQ) get a leg up. If VB were to go under, the new bar for pilots would START at the J* EBA. Not pretty picture. There is a time to play hard and a time to play the best game you can. The first is during EBA negotiations the second is the rest of the time.

As for the new boss well his job is to turn as big a profit as he can and that means you being able to comfortably pay your mortgage. At EBA time it'll be your job/turn to increase your profit!

17th Aug 2010, 08:58
Mr. Hat

agree 100% well said !!

17th Aug 2010, 21:54
Thats one side, the other side is setting up a base in OZ and/or doing domestic flying under lower conditions. This will and should piss a lot of people off. Note to self: attend meeting on 23rd.

No PB crew has ever operated a VB flight domestically.

Most PB crew understand all too well what the situation with VB is and wouldn't touch VB domestic flying with a 100 ft barge pole.

If the PB aircraft in NZ weren't redeployed on to other international routes, there would be job losses at PB, which I suppose would be cause for celebration for you lot over in Australia.

17th Aug 2010, 22:27
Cypher, mmmmm I agree.

Mr. Hat
17th Aug 2010, 22:42
Doubt any VB pilots want to see their cuzzy bros out of work. The concern Australian pilots have is the use of tricky tactics to bypass agreed EBA conditions ala J*.

Another poster said in another thread - 2 employees doing the identical job getting significantly different renumeration/conditions is the problem. Anyway I'm starting thread drift now. Good luck to you.

Cpt Link Hog
17th Aug 2010, 23:55
If the PB aircraft in NZ weren't redeployed on to other international routes, there would be job losses at PB

Totaly Incorrect...

PB used only two A/C on domestic opps (crap schedual they even admited this) there has been several departures over the last month all Cpts (more to come I expect) this would have easily taken care of the small amount of extra crew.
They are up grading F/O's hireing F/O's and DEC's needing up to 30 new crew .

This has nothing to do with saving Job's come on guys?!
Pac Bro can do the Job for less

18th Aug 2010, 00:45

The aircraft that are being removed from the NZ domestic market are being re-deployed on international routes EX AUSTRALIA, not ex NZ. So ALL the international flying which at present is rightfully operated by VB, is being shifted to the lower cost base. End result...on this decision, a VB command upgrade course of 12 has been "deferred", F/O recruitment has been "deferred", and almost simultaneously an EOI released for VB crew to transfer to PB, on PB T & C's.

NOT ONE VB pilot wants to see a CURRENT PB pilot out of work, but correct me if im mistaken... aren't PB now actively recruiting, upgrading, and fishing for VB transferees? So rest easy, no PB job is in danger!

This decision sets a very dangerous precedent, and IMHO is purely a litmus case for further transfer of business.

Mr. Hat
18th Aug 2010, 01:22
Will make for an interesting EBA negotiation :}. I sense a primed VB pilot group.

18th Aug 2010, 03:24
Flamingmoe you are correct. It would also not take much forsight to see that any new mid size 767/787/330/350 will go to PB (V Pacific !) not V Australia if it's used for regional flights.
Also what has ANZ got out of this in the "TRADE" with the Virgin group.

On Guard
18th Aug 2010, 04:17
Nice to see some moderated debate on this thread now rather than the immature, unprofessional behavior and attitude from Cactus. Damaging uniforms, burning fuel - come on if you really don't like the place that much leave. You are an adult and a professional, start acting like one.

I do support the foundation of this cause, PB is hiring for expansion/attrition so it is fair to say that few/no job losses would have occurred.

PB shouldn't really be operating these services but JB has made it plainly clear VB are back to domestic, PB are medium haul. Whether we agree with that is cause for debate. Of the PB pilots I know I doubt very much they would fly a domestic sector in AU, you may get your token few who would, but most know this is a line not to be crossed.

Are VIPA talking with ALPA?

18th Aug 2010, 04:37
I think about 50% of the PB pilots have no union Affiliation (protection?) so I suspect if they were asked to do a Brisbane Darwin to make the whole thing work there would be little choice but to do it or be sent packing.

18th Aug 2010, 05:05
PB pilots are not idiots. They would not fly domestic sectors in Australia. Union members or not.

18th Aug 2010, 05:13
Dueweno, I really wonder about comments like yours.......................:ugh: What the hell has union membership got to do with doing the right thing? I for one donít have union membership, for my own reasons......However I can assure you that if asked, and I think Iím in the know here old chap, myself and the very vast majority of PB pilots will NOT be pushed in to crossing a very well defined line, such as you have suggested. Some will yes, thats the case in any outfit. But not many.

My tip is either VA as they have a WB AOC or PB but with contractors doing the dirty work, as has been done in the past.

On a separate note whatís going on with RT? he seems to be laying low at the moment.

18th Aug 2010, 05:46
The aircraft that are being removed from the NZ domestic market are being re-deployed on international routes EX AUSTRALIA, not ex NZ

Additional Trans-Tasman sectors have been scheduled, but the market will only support so much across the Tasman.

PB pilots are not idiots. They would not fly domestic sectors in Australia. Union members or not.

Member or non-member, most PB pilots wouldn't do this because of common bloody decency.. granted the comment about the token few.

However it was absolutely fine for VB pilots to come fly for PB, displacing command upgrades at PB when the seconded group came and did their stints in NZ.. taking their commands and doing their NZ domestic flying in NZ... nobody gave a :mad: at VB.....

18th Aug 2010, 05:52
The aircraft that are being removed from the NZ domestic market are being re-deployed on international routes EX AUSTRALIA, not ex NZ. So ALL the international flying which at present is rightfully operated by VB, is being shifted to the lower cost base. End result...on this decision, a VB command upgrade course of 12 has been "deferred", F/O recruitment has been "deferred", and almost simultaneously an EOI released for VB crew to transfer to PB, on PB T & C's.

And what would have happened if PB had operated and crewed "their" sectors themselves when the GFC hit in the first place? Redundancies at VB?

18th Aug 2010, 06:37
And why would VB pilots transfer to PB if the T&Cs are less....:ugh:
wouldnt that defeat the whole purpose of OZ pilots UNITING against such schemes?

Lets see what unfolds....good luck to all

18th Aug 2010, 07:28
Burty, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to mention the secondment!

You're not comparing apples with apples. The VB/PB secondment was nothing more than a TEMPORARY stop gap solution to a crew shortfall at PB, seems pilot retention is a bit of an issue over there?? It was a short-term arrangement, and i'm pretty sure the small handfull of guys have all returned to VB.

If you want to put the shoe on the other foot, a comparable scenario would be if overnight VB were to operate trans-tasman, overnight in CHC and AKL, then operate out through the pacific and back, resulting instantly in cancelled PB command courses, and F/O recruitment. This would severely stunt your growth prospects, and you would be understandably annoyed.

It is not my intention to turn this into a VB vs PB stoush, but where do you believe the line should be drawn?

18th Aug 2010, 08:29
I think you miss my point this is not good but if a roster turns up with brisbane darwin bali in it and some one on an individual contract says no, i really dont know what sort of positition he puts hinself in in relation to NZ industrial law hence the reason for the coment regarding being a member of a union, me thinks a good idea if you want to make a stand on this issue which we should!

18th Aug 2010, 09:37
Agreed, this should not turn into a VB vs PB.

I have no beef with VB crew and do not have any ambition to operate domestic sectors inside Aust, that is my line in the sand and I'm am sure I would speak for the majority of PB crew. Unfortunately we have some of your ex 89' brethren on this side of the tasman who would be only too willing to please and they are the ones to watch...

18th Aug 2010, 10:34
Some very valid points here.

However, could we all get on the same wavelength.

No line in the sand, no sectors stealing and definitely no command grabbing etc...

This is purely about the exploitation of the NZ labour laws and industrial status quo. What we need to see is our NZ comrades, operating the B737 in the Virgin group receiving pay and conditions on par with their Australian counterparts.

This is what it is all about. Abuse of the mutual recognition bill and open skies policy between Australia and New Zealand and an attempt at offshoring the labour to the lowest cost domain....

Address this and we will ALL live happily ever after. Kiwi or Aussie.

That is except for the footy and cricket.

26th Aug 2010, 11:07
So does anyone know what future aircraft PB will be using for their services???

ai pai
8th Oct 2010, 22:14
Any truth in that a few pb drivers about to leave and current drivers getting worked pretty hard?

9th Oct 2010, 05:38
Its more like 95% unhappy and looking for other flying jobs. Most of the pilots so negative and upset with failed promises once again from managment:D

9th Oct 2010, 06:07
If you want to make the move NOW is the time while the window of opportunity is there esp M.East/Asia.

PB will always be the puppet of VB and the jetstar of Qantas.

Promises by Mangmnt be like a scratched CD...you next for upgrade...your next...your next....your.next....6 slots later.......your next......1 year later.......your next....:mad: wouldnt anyone want to leave..

Safe Flying

10th Oct 2010, 18:30
I agree with what someone else said. If you are at PB and have another opportunity then go. Don't hope and wait for them to do something. They will cut you the second they don't need you and VB will cut or close PB the second they don't need them either. All these Furfies that they will get Widebodies etc are just that. Your doing the same job as VB pilots, flying Vb planes and employed by VB but getting less money as a captain than what a VB Fo gets. You all deserve better.

11th Oct 2010, 01:42
The ship is sinking people. 2 captain's resigned last mon, 1 the week before(2 are training captain's), 4 F/O's leaving over the next 2 months and some having interviews as we speek. I think this is just the start of it. Almost everyone I talk to have their CV's out even the guys who used to say that they would be here till they retire. I think the only way things will get any better is to wipe the current management out completely and start again. No one has any respect for any of the current management team including SA as he was the one who employed the problem child. We have heard their lies for too long and now the rot has set in. It will be interesting to see the galop poll results. I bet it's more than 5% not happy!!

Cpt Link Hog
11th Oct 2010, 13:30
The only people that are happy are the ones leaving......

12th Oct 2010, 02:01
Another pilot just resigned from crap blue in last few days, thats about 12 in last 6 months. (5 in the last week) Rats are leaving a sinking ship. Lifestyle what lifestyle !!!!!!!!! :ugh:

ai pai
14th Oct 2010, 11:06
The problem child and his team put out a newsletter delaying the PB NZ crew takeover of Bali flights until March from Dec REASON No crew!!....
so they think by delaying this plan pilots will just suddenly stop leaving I think JB gotta conference call the CHC Management and ask what the :mad: is going on with these resignations and the Samoan government is seriously looking at bailing out of the VB deal for Polyblue and reignite Polynesian...

17th Oct 2010, 09:22
sid star

True, I'm sure they expected some attrition once things started to come right after the GFC but I don't know if they expected quite as much as they are getting (or about to get) and yes they are losing training capts to jq. They are losing people faster than they can train them. Most of they guys in the recruitment pool have been telling them where to go when they call them up with a start date and only the desperate ones are coming. They have been relying on people wanting to live in NZ for the lifestyle and put up with the crap $ but the reality is there is no lifestyle here anymore. When you are doing 5 day trips back to back with 1-2 days at home per week doing 80-90 hrs per month with no incentive pay and a roster that changes daily you may as well be overseas earning $. They are already so short of crew they have had to cancel flights and apparently could hardly write this months roster. I have no idea how they thought they were going to crew the Bali flights. VB must be asking questions. The problem child and his fellow management (if you you can call them managers) have driven the place into ruin, just like they did at jetconnect before they came over to PB.:ugh:

17th Oct 2010, 20:07
PB have also taken the axe to Engr's, not that there were many to begin with. Standby for MEL's and defects to rise, perhaps a more frequent AOG.
The sooner VB take it all over, the better everyone will be.

ai pai
19th Oct 2010, 22:08
Thats right the sooner VB take over PBs entire operation close down CHC HQ sack the mismanagement team :ok: the better

14th Nov 2010, 20:49
Seems the CHC HQ is interviewing over the next few weeks. Is it true they are taking PB DEC's??

14th Nov 2010, 22:51
yes they do take DEC positions but are losing guys to Mid East, Asia and more to come so alot of paperwork/training and bank loans/repayments for the successful candidates and HQ PB to deal with and sort out...:eek:

10th Jan 2011, 03:21
Pacific Blue quit NZ domestic routes after $20m loss

2:45 PM Monday Jan 10, 2011

http://media.nzherald.co.nz/webcontent/image/jpg/SCCZEN_A_071009NZHGPJAIR6_220x147.JPGExpand (http://www.pprune.org/#)

Pacific Blue NZ, the local units of Richard Branson's Virgin Airlines, chose to abandon New Zealand's domestic routes after tough competition and tighter market conditions left it with a near-$20 million loss.
The airline incurred a net loss of $19.8 million for in the 12 months to June 30, according to financial statements filed with the Companies Office.
That prompted it to pull the plug on internal flights in October last year and instead focus on international short- and medium-haul routes between Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and South East Asia.
At the time Virgin Blue Group of Airlines chief executive John Borghetti said the move was part of a strategy aimed at "removing capacity from services which are underperforming" and lifting capacity in areas with "strong revenue potential."
One of the major factors behind the New Zealand unit's underperformance was tight competition on domestic routes from rivals Air New Zealand, with all three airlines slashing prices over the year to attract domestic travellers, which had dwindled as the effects of the global financial crisis battered New Zealand's economy.

Pacific Blue's financials show revenue for the financial year was flat at $281.8 million compared to the previous year, while costs rose by 8.3 per cent to 309.3 million, leaving the airline with a pre-tax operating loss of $25.3 million - more than 23 times higher at the previous year's gross loss of $1.1 million.
The airline's parent, Virgin Blue, subsequently entered into an alliance with Air New Zealand on trans-Tasman routes, which has won approval from Australian and New Zealand antitrust authorities after the initial proposal was shot down amid accusations it would stifle competition.
Regulators were won over by promises from Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue to maintain capacity, code share on Tasman and connecting flights and offer reciprocal frequent flier and lounge arrangement.

10th Jan 2011, 10:05
Another 'BG' loss making enterprise is put to bed.
Shares might rise another couple of cents !!......