SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:07 am

Virgin Blue to revive bid for NZ route
By Vladimir Guevarra

AUSTRALIAN discount carrier Virgin Blue yesterday said it would meet New Zealand authorities on Monday to revive its bid to fly across the Tasman Sea - a move which can heighten its 'friendly rivalry' with Singapore Airlines (SIA).

Mr David Huttner, Virgin Blue's commercial chief, told the Straits Times his team plans to have a 'courtesy call' with New Zealand Transport Minister Mark Gosche on Monday.

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'We're planning to have just a courtesy call with Minister Gosche, and see where we've left off,' he said in a telephone interview.

'We're just trying to review the various options on how to make Virgin Blue gain access to New Zealand.'

The renewed talks between Virgin Blue and the Kiwi government may increase the competitive atmosphere between Sir Richard Branson's no-frills airline and SIA.

Giving the green light for Virgin Blue to fly to New Zealand would mean a direct challenge to struggling Air New Zealand (Air NZ) - in which SIA has a 25 per cent stake.

Relations between Virgin Blue and SIA began to be strained in July when SIA chief executive Cheong Choong Kong said his company 'would not like it if Virgin Blue started operations in New Zealand'.

He had said he would 'be surprised' if Sir Richard's carrier began operations in New Zealand.

SIA has a 49 per cent stake in Sir Richard's Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Blue, which now holds 20 per cent of the Australian market, is a separate company.

During a visit to Singapore last month, Sir Richard downplayed the tension, saying there is only a 'friendly rivalry' between Virgin Blue and SIA.

Yesterday, Mr Huttner said Virgin Blue 'has a chance of finally flying to New Zealand by next year'.

He refused to elaborate.

He also downplayed the tension with SIA and said: 'We're a different kind of airline so we don't see any competition. We don't mean to offend SIA, but we're just discussing things. Let's see how the talks turn out.'

When contacted yesterday, an SIA spokesman declined to comment.

SIA shares yesterday fell five cents to $9.80 while Air NZ's A and B shares both rose one NZ cent each to 37 NZ cents and 38 NZ cents respectively.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
TG992
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 pm

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:13 am

I really doubt DJ will make it over here, for 2 main reasons.

1/ The market just isn't big enough to have 3.5 airlines competing.. (NZ, QF, DJ, and QO)

2/ The NZ government probably won't be as open to the idea of DJ being here now because they've already pumped cash into Air NZ - letting another competitor in would sorta be like plugging one hole while drilling another.
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Skystar
Posts: 1339
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2000 3:58 pm

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:21 am

QO - is that Origin Pacific?
How about Freedom Air (SJ?) - I realise it's a NZ subsidiary.

That would make it closer to 4 to 4.5 airlines.

Cheers,

Justin
 
TG992
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 pm

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 8:48 am

QO is indeed Origin.

Valid point - if you consider SJ as a seperate airline, and particularly take into account the fact it's squarely aiming at the same market as DJ.. it's even harder to see how they plan to make a profit.
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wirraway
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 3:55 pm

Agree with TG992, the only possible way that VB
could operate in NZ is if Sir Richard sells 51% or
more to Australian interests, then as an Aussie
airline could operate there with no problems as
well as fly the Tasman.

Wirraway
 
Guest

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 4:18 pm

Hey guys,

Just to be obnoxious, expect TT 'new' AN flights. Insiders of Fox / Lew suggest direct competition between NZ / AN. With AN at the controls... Ooooh.

Remember that SQ has the shits with NZ big time.

AN is within it's clear rights to fly TT and may I add the service that is proposed to be offered is outstanding, but of little cost to the airline.

***yay***

mb
 
aussie_
Posts: 1600
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2000 10:39 am

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 4:36 pm

You have to be more specific mb... Because at the moment your comments make no sense to me.

Firstly AN and NZ are both Star partners. Therefore I doubt any predictions of a fight to the death over trans-tasman. Though I'd love to see it, I would think trans-tasman at this stage would be madness.

And what has this to do with SQ having the shits? Shits or not, SQ has 25% in NZ (still, I think) and therefore doesn't want to see NZ suffer.

And how can excellent service be of little cost to the airline? I suppose you mean the wizz-bang internet and phones in each seat etc. I can't see how this is going to come from anywhere but Fox/Lews hip pocket.

I love AN to death (and by god I lost some FF points with them) and what to see them back to full health, and with this in mind I beg them to be reasonable and forget TT for the time being, unless of course NZ nicely just hands over a few routes to them and ensures their pax traffic, but that seems unlikely.
 
wirraway
Posts: 1294
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 4:43 pm

Aussie

SIA only have about 4% of ANZ now.

Wirraway
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
Posts: 11619
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2000 4:06 am

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:02 pm

No, 4.3%  Big thumbs up
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
TG992
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2001 12:03 pm

RE: DJ To Revive Bid For NZ Route

Sat Nov 24, 2001 5:33 pm

NZ and AN have already entered a commercial agreement complimenting (not competing) with each other.
Trans-Tasman traffic feeds to AN onwards to places like ADL. If AN wants to survive it needs to build alliances, not burn bridges. Grand ideas of taking on NZ, QF, TG, and UA directly on the Trans-Tasman routes are nothing but pipe dreams.
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