Air New Zealand is poised to reveal details of a big
expansion of its international network, most likely in Asia.
It has for the past year been working to forge new
relationships with airline partners and the addition of new
aircraft from the middle of the year gives it scope to fly to
new long-haul destinations itself.
Air New Zealand has signalled it is firmly in growth mode as
part of its "go beyond" strategy, returning its long-haul
airline to profit by focusing on Pacific Rim expansion.
The airline put more capacity into the recovering North
American market last year, leaving Asia the most likely area
for further expansion.
Travel industry sources expect an announcement this week.
This month chief executive Christopher Luxon said the arrival
of new planes this year would allow the airline to access
Its eight Boeing 777-200s are being refurbished at its
Auckland engineering base this year, the first of 10 787-9
Dreamliners arrive from mid-year and two additional Boeing
777-300s are being added to the fleet on operating leases
over the next two years.
It has ruled out using its Dreamliners on ultra-long-haul
direct flights to the middle of the United States or India
and would use them on existing routes to Perth, China and
Last year Air New Zealand entered into a strategic alliance
with Cathay Pacific on its Auckland-Hong Kong route and on to
London following deals with Virgin Australia and a code share
deal with Japanese airline ANA.
International Air Transport Association figures show profits
for Asia-Pacific airlines are expected to rise from US$3.2
billion ($3.8 billion) last year to US$4.1 billion this year.
- Grant Bradley of the New Zealand Herald