Businesses demand Air NZ answers

The chief executive of Air New Zealand has been invited to Dunedin to hear concerns from the business community about the axing of a late-night flights.

From March 1 the direct evening flight, which leaves Auckland at 7pm and arrives in Dunedin at 9pm, will cease.

That move disappointed Dunedin Labour MPs Clare Curran and David Clark, who met Air New Zealand's regional affairs manager, Ian Collier, last week to discuss the change.

He told the pair ''unfortunately, we simply do not have available aircraft to adjust the timings at the current time''.

Ms Curran said she was inviting chief executive Christopher Luxon to Dunedin to discuss the change with city business leaders who were affected by the loss of service.

It was vital businesses were supported by adequate infrastructure, including flights, she said.

''Air New Zealand needs to take into account what business leaders are saying, and their response is simply just not good enough.''

Ms Curran understood Dunedin had the fastest-growing domestic network - ''and if that is the case why drop the commuter flights?''

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said the issue ''is something we want addressed sooner, rather than later''.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Alliances

With the alliance between Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, they can keep any real competition from setting up in Dunedin, and dictate there prices and number of flights.

The only way Dunedin will see competitive prices, and more flights is for the alliance to be discontinued.

Girlyswot: what's happened

Girlyswot: what's happened here is that AirNZ have bought new bigger planes, it's AirNZ's change that has changed the economics, I guess they've decided that they can make more money using their planes somewhere else - it's AirNZ who have changed the bar to "what is profitable" here

Well that's a kick in the...travel plans

The reality is Air NZ would not stop the service if there was demand enough to make it profitable.  I like this flight myself, but they obviously don't think the service can make them money.  Do Clare Curran and co think differently?

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