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What If SQ Had Bought AN In 2001  
User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4943 times:

What if SQ had bought AN in 2001. 7 years down the road, what do you thing the market would be like instead? I think AN's fleet will be streamlined to 4 core aircraft types. Tasman route prices will be much cheaper and SYD-LAX will be in motion? Anyone has similar views?

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCupraIbiza From Australia, joined Feb 2007, 836 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4906 times:

I think DJ would be out of business, but we will never know for sure! Nice question by the way


Everyday is a gift…… but why does it have to be a pair of socks?
User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4879 times:

If I remembered the realities then, SQ took one look at the books and said "thanks, but no thanks.". Something similar happened with Sabena but the difference with the latter was that talks went further, however SN opted not to have SQ as a backer.

However, I beg to differ about DJ's well being. It would still be formed, it would still expand, although the opportunities might not have been that vast like in 2001. As for AN, SQ would probably have gone for an all A320 domestic / regional fleet type being supplemented by their own 747-400s and 777s for destinations further afield. The Star Alliance presence down under would have been a done deal with SQ making sure of essential coverage with AN's network.

I am sure AN would have been considered as a candidate for SYD-LAX and SQ would have a willing supply of aircraft should that route ever came to fruition.

Well.... In a parallel universe maybe. But SQ's corporate culture would never have gelled with AN. Looking at AN's strongly unionised work force, SQ would have demanded numerous changes to make the carrier profitable which I am sure would not have gone down well with the unions.



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User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4847 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
Well.... In a parallel universe maybe. But SQ's corporate culture would never have gelled with AN. Looking at AN's strongly unionised work force, SQ would have demanded numerous changes to make the carrier profitable which I am sure would not have gone down well with the unions.

Perhaps B6's non union structure could have been implemented. Less profits but the problem with the unions can be dealt with.

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
s for AN, SQ would probably have gone for an all A320 domestic / regional fleet type being supplemented by their own 747-400s and 777s for destinations further afield. The Star Alliance presence down under would have been a done deal with SQ making sure of essential coverage with AN's network.

This won't be a surprise, Heavy maintenance will most likely be done by SIAEC.


User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

Why didn't SQ takeover AN in 2001? Thought they wanted them desperately at one point

User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 4812 times:

As a former Ansett regular, I can firmly say
that 2001 wasn't when SQ should have got Ansett... it was earlier when they
were outmoved by Air NZ. If SQ had got directly into Ansett in the late 90s as they
had originally wanted then yes.

But it wouldn't have been without bloodshed. If you looked at Ansett's revenue, the number of
pax carried and Ansett's costs at the time its obvious where Ansett's problems lay, and even
more obvious that it should have been extremely profitable. However Ansett's extremely union dominated
culture was a left over from decades of government protection under the two airline policy. When Ansett
enjoyed years of protection with the only other allowed competitor being the government's own instrument, it could hardly
ever get aggressive with union demands. (pre Australian deregulation)

I don't think 2001 was the time for Ansett. Let's not forget SQ also tried to get Ansett to buy Virgin... SQ was
attempting to get in, get virgin's cost base and eliminate a competitor at the same time. Maybe this was SQ's mistake...they pushed too far for too much and ended up with nothing? Of Course Richard Branson
used this as an opportunity for a popularity contest and a publicity stunt (him being the defendor of low fares)


User currently offlineNicholaschee From Australia, joined Oct 2005, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4647 times:

I'm sure Ansett had a good management team, afaik many of them were recruited into QF. QF is doing very well now. They just didn't have a good way dealing with the unions. So am I safe to say that unions killed Ansett and not Air New Zealand?

User currently offlineVHHYI From Australia, joined Oct 2007, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4598 times:

IMO the only sane way to acquire Ansett in the early 2000's, including in the administration process would be to set up a new company and take the assets, aka like Tesna tried to achieve. Of course, Fox and Lew went walking when they realized the vacuum was already filled.

Lufthansa nailed the reasons why in his post, Air NZ learned the hard way [apparently it was one of their main foreign investors who wanted in anyway, not themselves]

I do wonder if Ansett Intl' as a shell company would be useful to anybody. It was controlled by Australian interests to satisfy foreign rights needs. While Tesna apparently was suppose to have access to Ansetts Intl' routes as part of their deal, perhaps a foreign carrier would be interested in a franchise op.

edit: In response to above, I was suprised to learn today about the history of Jetstar's Alan Joyce in the latest BRW, who turned down Ryanair to work at Ansett and turned down Aer Lingus to go to Jetstar. I understand Tesna's proposed chief started at Ansett before going to BMI, and of course Sir Rod went to BA after Ansett was acquired.

[Edited 2008-04-27 23:33:13]


This Porsche is like an Airbus;an Engineering marvel, but without passion - Jeremy Clarkson
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4798 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 4497 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 2):
If I remembered the realities then, SQ took one look at the books and said "thanks, but no thanks."

 checkmark  although if they had been offered AN at the right price (about half what NZ paid) then SQ probably would have and used the extra cash as capital injection... it would have still taken a lot of work to make it successful however. Basically AN whilst a nice airline, was a dog.

Quoting Nicholaschee (Reply 6):
I'm sure Ansett had a good management team, afaik many of them were recruited into QF. QF is doing very well now. They just didn't have a good way dealing with the unions. So am I safe to say that unions killed Ansett and not Air New Zealand?

Unions played a big role as they too inflexible and not interested in saving the company. That said, most of the blame lies with the former owners (TNT and Newscorp I think it was). They had been running down AN for years, stripping off profits and not updating the fleet... by the time NZ bought AN almost the entire fleet needed to be replaced (at the cost of probably $2bn for purchases plus lease costs of around $400m p/a on others one would imagine). NZ itself needed to upgrade its own fleet at the time but it was capable of doing so provided it didn't have to provide additional capital to AN as it ultimately had to do to the tune of over $1m per day!.

Had the Australian government not changed its mind and blocked NZ from setting up its Freedom (SJ) operation in Oz then SJ would probably be very similar to DJ in size, fleet and destinations. NZ would have continued to fly the SYD-LAX route and possibly would have been a bigger airline and also flying MEL-LAX and SYD/MEL-JNB and SYD/MEL-HKG. As we all know the Australian govt blocked NZ from setting up a domestic Oz op and so NZ was effectively forced to buy AN if it wanted a piece of the Oz market (which at the time was considered quite important to NZ and *A).



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4433 times:



Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 8):
m setting up a domestic Oz op and so NZ was effectively forced to buy AN if it wanted a piece of the Oz market (which at the time was considered quite important to NZ and *A).

Yes and avoided political damage to the labour party's union interests who would have been seen to be allowing their jobs to be destroyed by Air NZ (ansett that is)... the government wanted a foot in both camps... Yes no restrictions on Kiwi's in Australia due to the common market, but not in your own right. If they'd only held onto their money a few more years they would have been able to set up regardless because the next government lifted the foreign ownership rules for any country and hence mr branson and friends turned up. The question remains though, would have NZ succeeded? I'd say yes, if, and only if, they were willing to hire people Internationally who were more experienced in bigger markets to run things, rather then people used to NZ's less competitively pressured position back in the NZ domestic market.

It's not to late for NZ to take a stake in DJ now... or to enter in their own right. Will be soon though if Tiger get their 30 A320s in this country.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 8):


Had the Australian government not changed its mind and blocked NZ from setting up its Freedom (SJ) operation in Oz then SJ would probably be very similar to DJ in size, fleet and destinations. NZ would have continued to fly the SYD-LAX route and possibly would have been a bigger airline and also flying MEL-LAX and SYD/MEL-JNB and SYD/MEL-HKG

Very good point. Could this be what Singapore Air is doing with Tiger?


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 10, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4319 times:



Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 9):
Very good point. Could this be what Singapore Air is doing with Tiger?

At least in the near future, TT is being developed as another domestic / regional carrier based in Australia. However, who knows what would happen in the future? Did anyone ever think LCCs would succeed in Asia?



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineNzrich From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4179 times:



Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 9):
It's not to late for NZ to take a stake in DJ now... or to enter in their own right. Will be soon though if Tiger get their 30 A320s in this country.

I think NZ does not really need to be in the domestic market in Australia why enter a full market .. What it needs to concentrate on is serving every major market in Australia to NZ .. For other markets it just needs to be able to do a codeshare ..

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 9):
The question remains though, would have NZ succeeded? I'd say yes, if, and only if, they were willing to hire people Internationally who were more experienced in bigger markets to run things, rather then people used to NZ's less competitively pressured position back in the NZ domestic market.

NZ does know what competition is .. There was big competition in New Zealand between Ansett NZ and Air NZ .. Both carriers thought for every passenger and contract so to say NZ was not used to competition is unfair .. What did AN was a old fleet and a inefficient workforce that was paid top dollar .. When your costs are the highest its hard to fend off the competition regardless of what management you have .. AN was a great carrier but it was just never going to survive with out massive cost cutting that the unions were never going to allow ..

If NZ had gone in with Freedomair into Australia as originally planned with a low cost base AN would still of gone and chances are Freedomair would of been the NO2 carrier .. NZ would be a massively different carrier now also and much much bigger ..



"Pride of the pacific"
User currently offlineKoruman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4141 times:

The question is all wrong I'm afraid.

Air NZ, as zkpilot writes never wanted Ansett, they wanted to fly their own domestic Australian services from late'94, as per the written Bilateral Agreement, upon which the Australian Labor government reneged at the last minute under pressure from Ansett's unions, who could already see that their airline was a basket case and that Air New Zealand's Australian operation (later codenamed "Australian Star") would bankrupt Ansett.

But Air NZ's entire strategy was (and should still be) based upon being an airline for the 25 million Australia-New Zealand combined market, and the Keating government's treachery and perfidy basically forced them to buy Ansett. Air NZ then proceeded to mismanage it, for sure, losing corporate contracts left, right and centre and imposing too much control from Auckland.

But the original post presents Singapore Airlines as the potential white knight, whereas in fact they were the incompetent buffoons whose management underperformed most of all in this tale. They wanted a large chunk of Australia's 20 million population's affluent market, and they were happy to use Ansett or Air New Zealand to grab it.

By 2000-2001 SIA owned 25% of Air New Zealand (the maximum existing NZ law allowed) which in turn owned 100% of Ansett. But as such SIA allowed NZ to mismanage Ansett, and carries direct responsibility for that. But worse still, Air NZ needed a cash infusion to buy a new fleet to replace Ansett's inefficient antiques, and Blind Freddie could see that this needed SIA's stake to go up to 49%.

Qantas could certainly see this, and while SIA were faffing around ineptly in an attempt to lobby the corridors of power (as usual, as per their Mr Bean-like attempts to obtain SYD-LAX rights), Qantas were ruthlessly using every trick in the book to stop the NZ government from lifting the foreign ownership cap to 49%, especially calling in favours from Howard government ministers who had been happily freeloading membership of the "Chairman's Lounge".

Here we saw quite clearly the difference in real world managership between Qantas and SIA. Qantas is a real business in the real world. SIA is 54% owned by the Singapore government's investment tool Temasek, which entirely on merit I'm sure has as its CEO the Prime Minister of Singapore's wife. The PM's dad, of course, was PM himself from 1959-90 and is now "Minister Mentor". I'm not kidding. The PM's position is itself interesting in that he wasn't actually elected into the position, but rather his Dad's own successor vacated it to him. To be fair, the current PM did win a general election two years later - in which 37 of the 84 seats were "walkovers"! That's Singapore.

So the battle between Qantas and SIA was fought on a battlefield of Air New Zealand and Ansett.

I suppose that Singapore Inc, sorry, I mean Singapore Airlines, might have won if New Zealand was the sort of place where PM Helen Clark's husband was the CEO of a government investment arm which owned 54% of Air New Zealand, and if her father was the "Minister Mentor" whose word was law. Unfortunately for SIA New Zealand isn't that kind of a place.

So in the end Singapore Airlines' attempt to control a major part of the Australian market through Air New Zealand failed when they were beaten convincingly by Qantas. And given how they conducted themselves with ineptitude throughout this sorry tale, you won't be surprised to hear that their 25% stake in Air New Zealand ended up virtually worthless.

So I don't think that anything would have been any better if SIA had bought Ansett themselves. Not unless Prime Minister John Howard's wife was going to run Qantas as per the Singapore model.

[Edited 2008-04-28 05:48:57]

User currently offlineTsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2016 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 4037 times:

Gee, somebody really dislikes us.


NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineKoruman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 3893 times:



Quoting Tsentsan (Reply 13):
Gee, somebody really dislikes us.

It's not a case of liking or disliking, I am merely showing that Singapore's President Mobutu-style values in terms of the leading family running everything make it difficult for them to compete in high-powered business wranglings, even though their airline is otherwise extremely well-run and has a good product. A similar example was in 2003 when PM Lee's mother had a stroke in the UK, and aroused an enormous scandal in the UK when his father (the "Minister Mentor") intervened to have her jump the queue ahead of three cardiac emergency patients at the hospital she was taken to.

If they had had to lobby the 1980's Zaire government for ownership of something they would be just fine. Unfortunately, in 2001 they found themselves in a head-to-head race against Qantas to lobby the NZ government for/against an increase in the foreign ownership cap, and Singapore Airlines were just clueless in that. Unlike in the UK hospital example, it wasn't enough to just ring up and say "don't you know who we are, this is what we want?"

The thing is, this is not an isolated example. Air Canada pulled a similar Qantas-like stunt at Toronto, and Garuda did the same at Jakarta. Both times Singapore Airlines lost out because it did not have the management skills to defeat those threats.

My personal preference is that I'd take Singapore Airlines over Qantas any day of the year, and I even rather like Singapore and its people. But I believe that the way things work in Singapore (e.g the Lee family businesses like the prime ministership and stewardship of Temasek) equips them very poorly for high-powered corporate fights in different environments.


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3836 times:



Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
But the original post presents Singapore Airlines as the potential white knight, whereas in fact they were the incompetent buffoons whose management underperformed most of all in this tale.

The Air NZ debacle was a blotch in the SQ's history no one wants to remember. Having only 25% stake, there was nothing much they could do or say.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
But as such SIA allowed NZ to mismanage Ansett, and carries direct responsibility for that.

Like I said, their stake in ANZ was only 25%. They could only do SO MUCH.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
To be fair, the current PM did win a general election two years later - in which 37 of the 84 seats were "walkovers"! That's Singapore.

You cannot apply your version of politics and expect Singapore to be the same. We are a small country with a fragile fabric of different races. One tip of the scale and if problems crop up, we are gone. Don't you understand? We do not have any resources (natural) and it is really only the people we can rely on.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
Not unless Prime Minister John Howard's wife was going to run Qantas as per the Singapore model.

Once again, Australia is NOT Singapore. QF will not be run like SQ, and vice versa.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 14):
I am merely showing that Singapore's President Mobutu-style values in terms of the leading family running everything make it difficult for them to compete in high-powered business wranglings, even though their airline is otherwise extremely well-run and has a good product.

You might not agree with the way things are run here, fine. But do not label us, it is rude and condescending... Really uncalled for. Just because we have a different way of doing things doesn't mean we are tyrants. Again I have to point out that your way of politics will not gel in our society. Accept the fact that there will be different styles of governing.

Our nation is not poor, no one is really living under a bridge or homeless strewn across the streets, or drunken Aborigines stumbling about Orchard Road asking for spare change with a bottle of black cat whisky. So if our Mobutu-style governing affords us peace and stability, plus awesome job opportunities to make big money, I opt for Mobutu. Corruption and nepotism is everywhere like it or not, but if this invades the normal man on the street and he gets sidelined as a result, I will have a problem with that (eg. Indonesia). In my home, merit gets me forward so I have no complaints.

So please crank up and dust off your mind before writing what you did.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 14):
Both times Singapore Airlines lost out because it did not have the management skills to defeat those threats.

Business dealing having politics involved (read: government protectionistic methods) is always a no-win situation. No matter how awesome your company is, it will not win. Perhaps you failed to take that into consideration?



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User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4798 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3753 times:



Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 15):
The Air NZ debacle was a blotch in the SQ's history no one wants to remember. Having only 25% stake, there was nothing much they could do or say.

Sorry, but 25% stake is a major shareholding and as an airline it most certainly had a bigger role to play than its 25% would suggest as it was an active shareholder. Considering the other NZ shareholder was BIL (of which Singapore had a stake in to get around the 25% cap and which subsequently moved to Singapore), the way Singapore dealt with this whole issue was as Koruman suggested, quite inept.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3735 times:

Quoting Ryanair!!! (Reply 15):
r drunken Aborigines stumbling about Orchard Road asking for spare change with a bottle of black cat whisky

I love this! Maybe they can use it in the next cover of "The Australian Way"... have some Boongs wondering about orchard Road with cans of VB in their hands.... Brilliant!

Edit... note to ryan... Most Australians probably aren't that aware of the situation you described above because you don't exactly find Drunken Abbo's wondering down Toorak Rd or in the Streets of Mosman or Circular Quay. I take it you went to Cairns or Darwin? hehe, I know exactly what you're talking about and it's true... its just not were the champange socialists are sitting, busily sipping their latte's. It also dosen't have any of the bogans that live in the Western Suburbs of BNE, SYD and MEL... those people will never afford to board an SIA or a QF jet. If they ever fly at all, That's what Jetstar is for!

[Edited 2008-04-28 19:22:12]

User currently offlineDocPepz From Singapore, joined May 2001, 1969 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3675 times:



Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
The PM's position is itself interesting in that he wasn't actually elected into the position, but rather his Dad's own successor vacated it to him.

Koruman, the former PM, Goh Chok Tong, handed over the position of PM to Lee Hsien Loong in 2004, the same way Blair handed power over to Brown.

Lee Hsien Loong was elected as MP of his constituency in the 2006 elections with a 66% majority.

Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
Qantas is a real business in the real world. SIA is 54% owned by the Singapore government's investment tool Temasek, which entirely on merit I'm sure has as its CEO the Prime Minister of Singapore's wife.

Oh is SIA not run as a real business in the real world? I believe it is, and it is so bottom-line focused these days anyway!

Quoting Koruman (Reply 14):
But I believe that the way things work in Singapore (e.g the Lee family businesses like the prime ministership and stewardship of Temasek) equips them very poorly for high-powered corporate fights in different environments.

I'm afraid I have to agree with you on that. I myself work for a government-linked company, and as much as we have arms-length transactions with other government-linked companies (and even bitter fights sometimes) it is very difficult to shed the "impression" that when a foreign entity deals with my firm they are dealing with an arm of the government of Singapore.

Further, there are people in SIA who have told me that as much as they are given autonomy to run the show, it is very difficult to correct the *impression* to the outside world that SIA is just an arm of the government.

Unfortunately, rightly or wrongly, that is the impression you and many others overseas have and SIA and other government-linked firms always have to overcome that extra government-link hurdle in addition to other hurdles when competing for overseas projects.


User currently offlineRyanair!!! From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 4742 posts, RR: 26
Reply 19, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3671 times:



Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 17):
Edit... note to ryan... Most Australians probably aren't that aware of the situation you described above because you don't exactly find Drunken Abbo's wondering down Toorak Rd or in the Streets of Mosman or Circular Quay. I take it you went to Cairns or Darwin? hehe, I know exactly what you're talking about and it's true... its just not were the champange socialists are sitting, busily sipping their latte's. It also dosen't have any of the bogans that live in the Western Suburbs of BNE, SYD and MEL... those people will never afford to board an SIA or a QF jet. If they ever fly at all, That's what Jetstar is for!

In all my time working down under, I have lived in Tamworth (NSW), Rockhampton (QLD), and Pearce (WA). Also spent a considerable amount of time in Sydney, Perth, Darwin, and Oakey. So yes, I have seen my fare share of "oi... spare some change mate". I have also been verbally abused for not giving any change because for some reason, being Asian automatically means I am loaded with cash. Hahahaha... anything but!!!



Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
User currently offlineHKGKaiTak From Australia, joined Jun 2005, 1050 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 3579 times:



Quoting Koruman (Reply 14):
If they had had to lobby the 1980's Zaire government for ownership of something they would be just fine.

I get your point but I completely disagree. No matter how good the SQ management is I don't think they'd have gotten any further with the Clark Government than they did. I doubt any government would want the blood of having their national carrier controlled by overseas interests (and Asian interests, at that!) on their watch.

Having said that, from all the books I've read on this issue I believe SQ really was inept during that period with NZ.

I wonder if SQ could've formed their own Australian carrier soon after AN collapsed? DJ was not the force it is today and JQ wasn't around then ...  Confused



4 Engines 4 LongHaul
User currently offlineKoruman From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 3494 times:



Quoting HKGKaiTak (Reply 20):

I get your point but I completely disagree. No matter how good the SQ management is I don't think they'd have gotten any further with the Clark Government than they did. I doubt any government would want the blood of having their national carrier controlled by overseas interests (and Asian interests, at that!) on their watch.

Having said that, from all the books I've read on this issue I believe SQ really was inept during that period with NZ.

Now that I've been portrayed as anti-Singapore, I will for the first time reveal my true colours.....

I am a Kiwi and Air NZ frequent flyer who ardently wishes that the Singaporeans (SQ and government) had lobbied the NZ government as effectively as Qantas, because a rise to 49% SQ ownership would have bridged the immediate financial problems, and in the post 9/11 world the entire Ansett fleet could have been replaced economically. Ansett, not Qantas, would have set up a Jetstar-like union-lite subsidiary, and it would be Qantas that would have been in danger of collapse due to its high cost-base.

It's none of my business if Singaporeans want to take the "we're happy to give up our rights in return for prosperity and we're happy for our rulers to profit the most" line because I'm not a Singaporean. Good luck to them. I just wish that they had known how to play the lobbying game (including for the LAX-SYD route recently) because I live in Australia and would like to earn Star Alliance points and status domestically and to North America without sidetracking to Auckland.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 645 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

Hello all... it's really amazing how nearly 7 years on, this subject can still generate so much heat.

Anyway, allow me to offer some observations from my own perspective as a former loyal AN customer, *Gold / Golden Winger left with a useless biz class reward ticket PER/SYD in hand ; holiday tix for a family of 4 , SYD/PER/SYD ; and a loss of about 200K unused ff points (not that I'm counting or anything ..  Smile ).

1) IMO you are all correct in your analyses of the problems, as there was more than enough blame for the whole sad thing ,to be spread around between (NOT in any particular order BTW) 2 successive Oz govts., the NZ Govt., successive AN managements going back to Sir Peter Abeles' day , AN's unions & staff, and finally the incompetent cowboys and ueber-egos who "ran" NZ at that time - and before anyone gets upset, I stress "at THAT time", not now.

2) To return to the thread topic, an AN/SQ combo would have - service-wise at least - have been a world-beater. It would have been interesting to see how SQ would have managed AN's unions and staff, those gentle folk stuck with a 1950's - 60's mentality in 1990 - 2001. Either SQ would have "crashed" (and eventually dumped AN) or "crashed-through" that barrier. Hard to know which.

3) Had AN grown successfully under SQ ownership, my best guess is that : AN would have remained a full-service carrier, DJ would have survived by sticking with it's original LCC model, Impulse would still have gone down the drain, QF may or may not have established JQ as a counter to DJ.

4) What should have happened after the AN bankruptcy ? The Howard Govt. should have done exactly what the NZ Govt. did, and propped up - and then progressively but quickly (i.e. within 2 years) privatised - AN but only once they had achieved some semblence of IR sanity & productivity under similar circumstances to what they achieved with Patricks on the wharves.

They should also have then leased a new fleet of a/c that weren't falling apart due to neglected maintainance - remember the 767 fiasco of Easter 2001??

What would also have been a nice gesture at the time - and great PR - by NZ to their formerly loyal customers, would have been for the "new" NZ to have fairly quickly restored on a complementary basis, the * Gold status in their FF scheme, to all the former *G Golden Wingers. At the time, only UA did this.

Anyway, that's all a combo of history and wishful thinking. As things stand now, DJ is rapidly turning itself into AN in concept at least - even down to the SYD/LAX flights that would have been AN's long before now - and I am a happy customer of theirs ; NZ is a very good airline, and I am likewise a happy customer ; QF/JQ, either known as QanStar or JetAs, take your pick, has turned itself into a airline focused on satisfying the financial markets first, and customers second. Maybe that is necessary these days, who knows?

Finally, Koruman ... re Star status/points to the USA without going thru AKL : I couldn't agree more. We know that DJ has had discussions in the past with Star, so maybe once V Aust. has been going a while and expanded into Asia as well, something might come there.

Cheers, Airbear


User currently offlineEta unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2068 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3341 times:

You can still get your *A points to LAX without transiting AKL... you can transit YVR or endure UA!!!

I seem to recall NZ blocked SQ from increasing their 25% share as NZ had first right or refusal. Then again I also remember SQ looking at AN's books and running quickly away as stated above.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 645 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (6 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3247 times:

Hi Eta unknown ... true. I forgot about AC & UA, too, although perhaps NZ would be a better choice than either of the other 2. I personally don't mind the AKL transit. The main problem lies with no *A possibilities domestically. It would be very nice if that were fixed.

25 StickShaker : Fox and Lew didn't have a clue as to how to run or launch an airline - they didn't even have a business plan other than the expectation of guaranteed
26 Koruman : I think that Lindsay Fox knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Ansett mark 2 withdrew from competing against Qantas on the very eve of its inauguration. Th
27 Lufthansa : Absolutely...especially when he planed basically no mx facilties at all planing to dispose of every aircraft after just 2 years. Hardly viable.... hi
28 ETA Unknown : Fox & Lew were con-men- let's try and get Branson to buy this dog of an airline. What... put our own money into it- no way!!! Branson was smart lettin
29 Zkpilot : agreed. Wrong fleet, old fleet, and things like requiring Boeing to retrofit 767s to have an engineers station on the flightdeck... (crazy!).
30 NG1Fan : Well, I did once win a promotion on AN in 1997 - they were raffling off free return flights to within the winner's home state or any neigbouring state
31 Airbear : Hi StickShaker ... the way the NZ govt went about saving (Air)NZ's bacon, could have worked for AN as well. New & hopefully competent upper managemen
32 Bill142 : I think the NZ govt didn't have much of a choice but to save NZ. NZ is more critical to the economy of New Zealand then AN was to Australia. Not to m
33 Nicholaschee : I think when the B767 was designed it was a 3 flight crew operation. Before delivery it was changed to a 2 flight crew, but the Ansett unions managed
34 HKGKaiTak : OK, could have ... but as much as I disagreed with the Howard Government I applauded them for not wasting my tax dollars on a risky prop-up of an air
35 VHHYI : Correct, Ansett was the only one of 11 airlines at the time who didn't change the orders and the original batch was still in service in 2001. Apparen
36 PA515 : By 'NZ blocked' I presume you mean the NZ Government blocked SQ from increasing it's shareholding in Air NZ, who had the right of first refusal on Ne
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