View Full Version : Hamilton Airport courts Virgin Blue

5th Dec 2002, 08:22
NZ City

Hamilton Airport courts Virgin Blue
Hamilton Airport puts proposal to Virgin Blue for trans-Tasman flights despite airline's doubts over Qantas deal

Air New Zealand
5 December 2002

Hamilton International Airport has put its proposal to Virgin Blue.

The Australian-based, low-cost airline was considering expanding across the Tasman and asked for information from a number of New Zealand airports.

The airline recently said it was reconsidering its plans due to the Qantas proposal to take a stake in Air New Zealand.

Hamilton Airport Chief Executive Hugh McCarroll says they still completed a report for the airline.

He says it was a comprehensive report about Hamilton and the Central North Island and information about the market the airport offers.

Mr McCarroll says they are hoping to hear back from Virgin Blue in the not too distant future.

2002 NZCity, IRN

Kaptin M
5th Dec 2002, 09:05
Why go for the small fry?

With QF and TE "codesharing", why not fly directlly to AKL,CHC, and (what's the abbreviation for Queenstown?) QTN?

5th Dec 2002, 15:23

Virgin Blue eyes PNG
December 05, 2002

AUSTRALIAN discount airline Virgin Blue has said it was considering operating to Papua New Guinea.

Virgin Blue, half-owned by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, is deciding which of the 20 countries in the region it will operate into.

The airline said it would target major mining businesses in PNG, which suffers from expensive air fares from inefficient government airline Air Niugini.

Air Niugini has a monopoly on all international routes to PNG, yet it struggles to get by. This Christmas a return economy fare between Sydney and Port Moresby costs 4147 kina ($1700), whilst the short 1.5 hour flight to Cairns costs 2107 kina ($863) return.

There is no competition because Air Niugini has a code-share agreement whereby Qantas Airways buys a third of the seats on Air Niugini's aircraft.

Virgin Blue's commercial head David Huttner said PNG was one of 20 countries being considered for expansion, which included East Timor and Indonesia.

Huttner said the airline made an expression of interest to the PNG government last month.

"Clearly in PNG we'd be looking at, among other things, some of the key corporate traffic. There's a lot of big companies there that move a lot of people," Huttner told AAP.

"If any of the major enterprises that move a lot of people between Australia and PNG want to talk to us then that might help us look at PNG as one of our earlier destinations as an international carrier."

Huttner said the airline would consider running "regular scheduled services" in its new Boeing 737s, at least between Port Moresby and Cairns.

Any such service would compete directly with the current Air Niugini/Qantas arrangement.

"We'd be happy to talk to any of the major seat buyers on this route (to Australia) - whether it be from the mining sector, tourism sector or otherwise," said Huttner.

He said Virgin Blue had asked for expressions of interest from countries which are within five hours flight time of a major Australian airport, and which can accommodate Boeing 737s.

Air Niugini operates one larger Boeing 767, and a small fleet of Fokker jets which can only fly as far as Cairns.

Analysts doubted the PNG government would allow another airline in to compete with Air Niugini.

This week the country's Transport Minister said the airline was in a poor financial state and revealed the airline recently had to be loaned another $11 million to keep flying.

But the country's escalating economic woes have prompted calls to allow a cut-price competitor in.

Morobe Governor Luther Wenge told Parliament this week that struggling citizens could no longer meet the high cost of flying on the government airline.

Falls in local currency the kina have forced Air Niugini to raise all fares by nearly 20 per cent this Christmas, adding to the burden of two fare hikes earlier in the year.


5th Dec 2002, 23:18
Try ZQN! Don't know who came up with that one either???


Pimp Daddy
6th Dec 2002, 00:10
Try ZQN! Don't know who came up with that one either???

Drop the first N off the ICAO designator NZQN and Bob's your Aunty. :D

6th Dec 2002, 08:05
Thanks Pimp. It all seems so obvious now!!!

:o :o :o :o :o

Kaptin M
6th Dec 2002, 09:56
Are there any other N.Z. towns that are prefixed with a "Z"?
Not, AKL, CHC, or WLG.
So why Queenstown?

6th Dec 2002, 10:19
Why does'nt VB just purchase Freedom ? Then that solves NZ access, fleet and crews ?

Or does Fredom make more money than ANZ mainline, hence ANZ may be reluctant to sell ?

Pimp Daddy
6th Dec 2002, 10:20
Who knows why IATA do things the way they do, ICAO is much more orderly, NZAA NZWN NZCH.

The US and Canadian IATA codes are generally just dropping the country letter K or C.

6th Dec 2002, 11:31
Why purchase Freedom when it may be handed to you on a platter courtesy of the NZ commerce commission(?) and the ACCC ?

6th Dec 2002, 12:02
There is no such thing as a free lunch anymore !

Either way, great news for VB I suspect as the ACCC will not allow a monopoly - and why should they.

7th Dec 2002, 08:07
If NZQN (ICAO) becomes ZQN (IATA) by dropping the initial 'N', why is Hamilton (N.Z.) NZHN (ICAO) but HLZ (IATA)? Or Westport (NZWS) WSZ?

IATA are an interesting bunch, aren't they ...

Jack Flash
7th Dec 2002, 08:39
Hey, Dead Head get a life:rolleyes:

7th Dec 2002, 19:55
Congratulations Jack flash for such an informative and interesting first post on this forum.:p

Jack Flash
9th Dec 2002, 03:16
First of many Capt Puddle Jumper !! :D