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''.