Flight cuts to stay until demand rises

A reduction in the number of Air New Zealand transtasman flights out of Dunedin would remain until demand picked up, Tasman Pacific general manager Glen Sowry said yesterday.

He was in Dunedin to meet representatives from Dunedin International Airport, Tourism Dunedin, Dunedin City Council, the Otago Chamber of Commerce and the University of Otago.

There were "no big announcements" to make, and discussions focused on "what's going on in aviation at the moment and where Dunedin fits into that", he said.

The aviation industry was "feeling the pressure of the global slowdown" in air travel and spending.

As people tightened their belts, Air New Zealand "was experiencing its fair share of that".

Capacity had been adjusted to reflect the reduction in demand, not only in Dunedin but across the country, he said.

In April, the airline reduced services from Dunedin to Australia to a seasonal basis and "if the demand supports it" the services would increase again.

The company was in talks with the university about enhanced partnership possibilities involving discounted student travel on low demand flights.

"We want to partner with them so to further enhance the attractiveness of Otago University."

He suggested the initiative may be similar to Grab A Seat, where the company sold limited reduced fares.

Pacific Blue recently announced it would introduce flights from Dunedin to Brisbane in September, but Air New Zealand was not concerned about it or other low-cost carriers.

"We compete at the premium end of the market, but we also have been competing for leisure customers," Mr Sowry said.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter