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What Happened To 'Ansett New Zealand'?

Sat Oct 06, 2001 2:43 am

I still remember seeing Ansett New Zealand's name on the Star Alliance List. However, recently, I haven't heard anything about Ansett New Zealand.

Can anyone tell me what happened to AN New Zealand? Did they merge into Air New Zealand?
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RE: What Happened To 'Ansett New Zealand'?

Sat Oct 06, 2001 7:31 am

The short answer is kinda.
The long answer is that after years of industrial disputes and stiff competition Ansett New Zealand went bust. The assets were then picked up by Tasman Pacific who won the first ever Qantas franchise to operate as Qantas New Zealand. This too went bust. Some of the BAe146s are now operated by Mount Cook Airlines on behalf of Air New Zealand, thus the 'kinda'. Two of the Dash 8-300s are operating with Origin Pacific, the new Qantas allied carrier.
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RE: What Happened To 'Ansett New Zealand'?

Sat Oct 06, 2001 11:28 am

AJ - not quite. Ansett New Zealand never went bust, however it was sold (by News Corp, I believe) to a New Zealand consortium of businessmen who set up a company called Zazu for the purpose of this purchase. This occured in late 2000. The airline was renamed Tasman Pacific. They struck a deal with Qantas to operate as a franchise (i.e. operating under the Qantas name, but independantly owned and operated), called Qantas New Zealand. Passengers could earn Qantas frequent flyer points with them, and thus OneWorld points. Unfortunately, the airline was suffering from a loss of confidence from the corporate sector due to a pilot strike in 1999. The airline continued to lose money (the BAe-146s were not economical for the routes being served, especially against the 737s of Air New Zealand). Apparently, they were losing NZ$1 million a day by April, mainly due to the uneconomical aircraft, and poor yields. On April 20, they went into recievership, suspended operations, and eventually were liquidated (the liquidation process is still going on, however creditors may get as little as 20¢ for each dollar they are owed - a number of other companies went bust following the failure of Tasman Pacific). The executives of the airline are currently facing charges in New Zealand, among other things for the possibility that the airline was trading while insolvent. A couple of charges were dropped this week, however they are still facing another five.

The BAe-146s were actually owned by Ansett Australia, which is of course owned by Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand took over 4 of these aircraft through their Mount Cook Airlines brand, and are using them for flights to Dunedin in New Zealand's South Island. The rest were to have seen service with Ansett Australia, but obviously that is not going to happen now. SOme of the Dash-8 aircraft are now in service with a New Zealand commuter airline, Origin Pacific, who are now acting as feeders for Qantas.

Meanwhile, after some damage to their brand, Qantas steped into the New Zealand market, operating 4 737-300s between Auckland and Wellington, and Auckland and Christchurch. They started out offering very cheap fares (NZ$75 o/w to Wellington, NZ$89 o/w to Christchurch - both identical to Air NZ's low cost subsidiary Freedom Air), but I am unsure if these fares are still in place.

Hope this answers your questions. Oh, and Ansett New Zealand was never a Star Member. You may have seen Ansett Australia on a Star list, but Ansett New Zealand was always oriented towards Qantas during the existance of Star Alliance.

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