Call it a remarkable coincidence but an Air New Zealand ad that popped up in the middle of a story about Qantas’ woes shows just how cut-throat the aviation business is.
“If you’re a Qantas frequent flyer, here’s a simple trick you’ll like,” declared the ad, which appeared today between paragraphs of the New Zealand Herald online story “Qantas profit forecast slashed, 1500 face axe.”
It continued: “Switch over to Air New Zealand and, like magic, we’ll welcome you aboard by matching your status free for a year. Easy!”
This was juxtaposed above this rather more sober statement from Australian Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard: “It's going to be very distressing for those Qantas workers who are shortly to be told they are to be made redundant …”
The placement did indeed prove to be a coincidence rather than some nefarious plot, as the random scrolling ad subsequently canvassed the wares of Subway, Vodafone and Dell among others when the page was refreshed.
However, the ad (which, as a declaration of interest, NBR is also running on this site) is a reminder of just how dog-eat-dog the aviation industry is, particularly now with passenger numbers declining across the globe.
The promotion featured in the ad allows Air New Zealand Airpoints members to upgrade their status based on their Qantas Frequent Flyer Status.
Those who aren’t already members can have their $50 joining fee waived by signing up online and entering the promo code SLICEIT.
This is more than a little ironic given that there is a lot of slicing going on at Qantas, although that involves jobs rather than membership fees.
Considering its rival’s struggles, and its own well-documented profit slump, Air New Zealand would be silly not to kick Qantas while it’s down.