MPs say Air NZ plans to drop one Auckland-Dunedin flight

Clare Curran
David Clark
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Air New Zealand wants to cut one of its daily direct flights between Dunedin and Auckland, two Labour MPs say.

David Clark and Clare Curran say this will hurt the local business community and is a clear market signal Dunedin is not seen as a growth centre.

“I understand Air New Zealand’s decision to cut the last daily flight from Auckland to Dunedin is a recognition from within the company that Dunedin is the ‘last cab off the rank’ when considering the impact of changing their fleet of 737s to A320s,” they say in a joint statement.

“We will be talking to the Dunedin business community and seeking an urgent meeting with Air New Zealand to discuss the impact of these changes and whether they signal future cuts to air services.

“Dunedin cannot and should not risk becoming a backwater for air services. There isn't a clearer sign that we are at risk of just that happening by this latest move.”

Air New Zealand's timetable shows it has up to three daily weekday non-stop return flights between Auckland and Dunedin of just under two hours and two at weekends. This compares with more than three hours for flights transitting through Christchurch or Wellington.

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6 Comments & Questions

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A classic case of use it or lose it. Then again given Labour's various debacles with rail i don't suppose they have any grasp of economic reality.

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Wah. Wah. Labour politicians moaning again about commercial realities confirming they live in command economy land and that they have no idea how free markets work.

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If the route is not profitable why keep it. Air New Zealand is a company they are supposed to make money

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The A320s have a larger capacity and greater fuel economy than the old 737s they replace. When oil drilling starts off Otago or if someone writes a Booker winning novel about Dunedin there might be a demand for extra seats, but for the sake of the planet neither Air NZ nor the government should have any interest in flying empty seats up and down the country.

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After years of trying to do business down in Dunedin I finally got the message, the Tartan Mafia will only do business with locals. Ok, fine but don’t bitch when businesses won’t fly staff down there to try. The result is you become insular it’s hardly a surprise.

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All part of the profit-obsessive retailing attitude which has been brought into Air NZ by the new boss, although no one can blame him for the mistake in buying the howling, crash-prone 320s.
We need to understand Air NZ is no longer 'Our national carrier'. That's over. This phase is about beefing up the bottomline. Screwing the passengers and then finally flogging it to Singapore, now that we've snubbed Emirates, the ideal choice, and scared off Etihad, the next best.
When next you fly, choose legroom and massive luggage allowances instead of paying by the gram for your luggage.

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