Air New Zealand is suspending its remaining
trans-Tasman service into and out of Hamilton.
The airline has already announced in October
last year that it was suspending services between Hamilton and
Sydney and Hamilton and the Gold Coast during the traditionally
lower demand period from 29th March to 24th October this year.
Now the remaining Tasman service between
Hamilton and Brisbane will also be suspended from 25th April.
Air New Zealand General Manager Tasman Pacific
Airline, Glen Sowry, said Air New Zealand regretted having to
suspend the Hamilton-Brisbane service but it was no longer viable
due to weak demand and an oversupply of trans-Tasman capacity from
Auckland which is having a direct impact on customer demand for
Tasman flights from Hamilton.
None of the three suspended trans-Tasman
services from Hamilton are likely to be re-introduced in the
Mr Sowry said the Hamilton-Brisbane service was
suffering from poor load factors and equally poor yield.
“Loadings on our Hamilton-Brisbane service have
averaged 58% over the past three months. In that time, we have
flown the equivalent of 32 empty A320 aircraft between Hamilton
and Brisbane. That is clearly unsustainable, and in the current
environment we cannot afford to fly routes that make substantial
losses with no forecast improvement.”
The yield on the
Hamilton-Brisbane service was also poor, with 94% of the fares
being sold as sale or Smart Saver fares – a significantly higher
percentage than the average on Tasman services.
average fare on Air New Zealand flights between Hamilton and
Brisbane over the past nine months have been 19% lower than the
average fare paid on flights between Auckland and Brisbane.
Recent improvements to the road between Hamilton and Auckland
also appear to be encouraging Waikato residents to drive to
Auckland to take their Tasman flights.
“This has been
compounded by a massive increase in competition on Tasman services
out of Auckland with additional low cost carrier capacity and new
wide-body capacity, creating an incredibly competitive market and
great deals for the travelling public,” Mr Sowry added.
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