Air NZ to look at flight schedule

Air New Zealand will examine flight scheduling following a meeting in which Dunedin Labour MPs raised concerns about it cutting a late-night service from Auckland.

The Otago Daily Times last week reported the airline had cut its only evening flight between Auckland and Dunedin, angering some of those in the business community.

Dunedin South MP Clare Curran and Dunedin North MP David Clark met Air New Zealand's regional services manager Ian Collier to raise concerns yesterday.

The evening flight, which leaves Auckland at 7pm and arrives in Dunedin at 9pm, is scheduled to cease from next month.

''We are not asking them to put that flight back on again, but change the scheduling so it is a true commuter service, first thing in the morning/last thing at night, which is essentially what the business community is so upset about,'' Ms Curran said.

She remained concerned that Air New Zealand had made its scheduling based on a demand curve for the city - ''and that is code that Dunedin is not on a growth trajectory''.

''We delivered a clear message to Air New Zealand and we believe they have a responsibility to be looking and listening to regional concerns ... and not just looking at this from a short-term profit perspective.''

Ms Curran said the airline was the country's national carrier and had a dual mandate to return a dividend to shareholders and deliver a strong national service ''so we have reminded them of that''.

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Dunedin is relevant

The fact that the government is a majority shareholder is very relevant. It's our money and we should have a say.

Naive

Air New Zealand is a listed company and is flag carrier mainly by name and sentiment only. The fact the Govt is majority shareholder is irrelevant. They will and should not prop up services they see as unprofitable as they would just be burning a hole in the sky and going nowhere. Air travel is derived demand meaning Dunedin needs to grow for air services to grow, or even remain static.

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