Drew172
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Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:44 pm

It was mentioned a while ago that Air New Zealand were looking at a service from Auckland to London Heathrow via Hong Kong, is anything to become of this, are they still considering this option?

Further, are Air New Zealand still actively considering a wide body replacement for the 747-400's. Jim McCrea was quoted in the New Zealand Herald three years ago as saying that He saw the 777 as a more suitable aircraft for the airline than the 747. Does the recent airbus decision (A320) have any bearing on the airlines long term fleet stratergy?
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 6:49 pm

I believe they are still considering this option! They are waiting on some rights in order to start the service or something similar.

Not sure what they will go for as a 747-400 replacement, I love the 747 but I think we will certainly see either the 777, A330 or A340 in the fleet in the next 5-7 years. All should be revealed in the next 12 months or so.
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:03 pm

ZK-NBT

What sort of changes are they planning on making to their trans Tasman services, it was said that when the express class services were introduced that something similar was planned for these services too. Will this mean no meals etc? Are they planning on increasing frequency out of Akl, Wlg, Chc to Aus?

How long are the 737's going to be used on domestic services for? Are they actually planning on replacing the domestic 737's??

Thanks.
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:18 pm

Not sure.

This summer there are some increases in capacity.

AKL-MEL 18 weekly 762, 320
AKL-SYD 34 weekly 763, 762, 320
AKL-BNE 7 weekly 744
CHC-SYD 17 weekly 320
CHC-BNE 4 weekly 733

All the 737's will eventually be replaced with 320's! There will still be some 737's in the fleet for atleast another 3-4 years.
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:31 pm

Thank's for information, I will miss the -300, although I've flown on just about everything else I've never travelled on an A320 etc so I guess I can't make any comparissons.

Do you think that they may end up with any of the other family members? Would the 319 be quite well suited to domestic operations and the 321 for trans Tasman?
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:45 pm

* The new Trans-Tasman service and prices will be announced very soon. Other than that, my lips are sealed!

* The problem with HKG-LHR is British government approval, I believe.

* What Air NZ is looking for is an aircraft of about 300 seats that can replace the 744 and 767 - which only leaves 2 real candidates, basically. The winner will be announced next year.

* The deal with Airbus included the rights to convert any of the options into A319s or A321s. If the need arises, it's easy for it to be covered.




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v2fix
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:57 pm

Being a bit of a sad person at times and a great fan of Air New Zealand flying LHR-HKG(or alternative)-AKL I did produce a spreadsheet once to investigate the operation that showed:

1. AKL-LAX-LHR-HKG-AKL route required 3 aircraft
2. AKL-HKG-LHR-LAX-AKL route required 4 aircraft
3. I allowed 2 hours at each port of call.
4. All times were based on 744 performance for flying each segment.

Interesting enough because the A346 is slower that the B744 the 1. route would (just) require an additional aircraft (if regular scheduled times are desired). If Air NZ did Bangkok instead then 3 aircraft could be used again!

I can't quite remember but I think the LHR-HKG-AKL route arrived at Auckland at some early hour in the morning (2/3ish if memory server). I didn't think this was very desirable so the current scheduled times from AKL/LAX/LHR might need tweaking to make arrival occur at a decent hour. I not even sure if AKL allows night flights?

The life of an operations planner must be a challenging one to juggle so many variables, to arrive at optimal efficient use of the aircraft.

It has to be said that this is probably not the case at the moment at LHR, because the turnaround between NZ2 arriving and NZ1 returning is 6 hours - along time to have an aircraft on the deck. You could be half way to HKG in that time !!!





742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 7:58 pm

Thanks TG 992,

777 or the A340-?? or A340-??/A330-200?? Is that a correct assumption? Are you saying that they are probably looking for one a/c to do both jobs or are two types likely? Could you in fact find one a/c that would be suited to all their requirements?

 
United Airline
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:02 pm

Any plans to retire their B 747-400 fleet for now?

They are not very old I suppose? Also some of the routes can sustain B 744s
 
v2fix
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:03 pm

TG992 said
'* The new Trans-Tasman service and prices will be announced very soon. Other than that, my lips are sealed!'

Are you allowed to tell us the date of the announcement, so we can tune in? Or is that even under wraps?

PS.
Do you guys in NZ never sleep? Everytime I post I expect a 12 hour delay in response and end up with a 12 minute response!
742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:09 pm

To be honest I was quite surprised when I came across the thread that reported Air New Zealand's interest in the AKL HKG LHR route. Not that it's a bad idea but that they were brave enough to try it in the first place. In regard to new destination's, they have been very conservative in the past few years. Since Dallas and their push into and subsequent retraction from parts of Asia (KUL, BKK ,SEL, FUK) their has been a gradual consolidation of their network. This started even before their near extinction after Ansett.

 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:16 pm

Stay up late or we're the one's waiting for the twelve hour response from you fellas in the UK.

I would think that the route could be made to run to a clock face schedule, even with the A340-600. As you said there is a six hour lay over at LHR.

United Airline. The oldest 747-400 in the fleet was delivered in 1990 (I think) so they are not so old but the airline is looking to make a stuctural change to their fleet composition so age isn't so much the factor here.

 
jesseycy
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 8:49 pm

I'll just like to ask what are Air NZ plans to fly to US from now on. After the US has tightened control, rejecting transit passengers without US visas, wouldn't thousands of Air NZ passengers going to the UK be affected? Since they have to pass through LAX? Of course, NZ citizens will be mostly all right, but what about other nationalities?

Of course, this will apply to SYD-LAX flights as well. Does this mean that they would start up AKL-HKG-LHR very soon, just to cater for this passengers?
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Wed Aug 06, 2003 9:18 pm

V2Fix - You're really pressing me here.. *gulp* - sometime next week? BTW, your spreadsheet work is fascinating - well done!!

Drew - NZ is looking for one aircraft type only, preferably.

Jesse - I believe NZ is the biggest non-US operator into LAX, so I don't see them scaling back or pulling out, particularly since the 'Visa Waiver Program' is still in place (this is different from the transit without visa program) so Kiwis can still transit or enter the USA without visas. NZ no longer operates direct SYD-LAX services.





[Edited 2003-08-06 14:19:45]
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Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Thu Aug 07, 2003 3:29 pm

One aircraft? Hmm, good god, not more airbusses!
 
v2fix
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Thu Aug 07, 2003 6:03 pm

Drew172 said
'One aircraft? Hmm, good god, not more airbusses!'

Simple economies of scale one presumes. But why do you say 'not more airbuses?'

Why couldn't Air NZ trade-up the 747 to a new fleet of 777 with a few extras negotiated in for when they get permission from the UK to fly LHR-HKG!

I suspect Boing could find new owners for a fleet of 747s with 1 careful owner better than Airbus could?

I wouldn't want to turn this into an AvB debate (plenty of that stuff going on in other topics) but the A346 is a v.v. good aircraft from a PAX point of view. I have flown it (strangley enough LHR-HKG) and it is stunningly quiet. On the next leg of that trip I went SQ to SIN on the brilliant 777.

I think the choice will be operational need and finance driven. I feel that the 346 is 'more suited' for the long distance cruises some journey's require. Some of Air New Zealands journeys are relatively short hops (AKL-BNE, AKL-NAN AKL-PPT which all utilise 747s at times (although I think PPT is now all 763)). In terms of aircraft performance for these sectors the 777 might be a better fit.

And then there are the long LAX/LHR sectors?

This is a tough one to call. If Air NZ retrench to the Pacific the decision might be easier.

Finding a 300 seater that fulfills the various types of journeys, long nd very long haul sectors would be an interesting decision and one I'd like to be a fly on the wall for - just to see how the decision gets made.


742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Thu Aug 07, 2003 7:51 pm

V2fix,

You raise some good points, if Air New Zealand is looking for "one type" of aircraft to replace the 767 and 747 fleets then I get the feeling that the Airbus fleet may be a better choice than the 777. The Airbus family offers a family that can cater for a wider range of mission requirements over what is essentially one aircraft type (A340/330-200/300). Not that I would bet the house on it.

From the information I'm privy too, the A330-200 would seem really well suited to Air NZ's Asian services. It is able to lift more pay load on routes in the vicinity of 10,000 KM. Not sure how it works when financing is taken into account of course. This can alter thing's significantly.

It's not that I don't like Airbus or think that it would be a bad idea to purchase them, I'm just not that sure I want to fly them some day.
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:29 pm

Has anyone considered the 777/7E7 combination? The 7E7 would seem ideal for Air NZ if you ask me. I think the A330-200 might be a little too big and heavy for the Tasman and Sth Pacific runs.
 
ted747
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:40 pm

Is Air NZ really the biggest non US carrier to operate into LAX? I would have thought at least Qantas would be bigger as all their flights into the US go via LAX

Cheers
Ted.
 
SIN747
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:44 pm

I would have guessed AM, MX, or AC.
 
StarFlyer
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:53 pm

@Ted747, Well, Air NZ operates numerous flights out of LAX to the UK, NZ and Pacific Islands. But essientially there is only a couple of 747 services a day, and maybe a couple of 767s. I would have though that maybe a Canadian or Mexican airline would have been bigger!
If they are the biggest non-US operator its DEFINITELY time to upgrade ALL facilities.

@Drew172, dont worry about flying Airbus aircraft! From a passengers point of few I would say they are 98% if not more like Boeing aircraft so please dont be so prejudiced.

Air NZ couldnt fly 2xdaily into LHR could they once via HKG and once via LAX? What is the slot situation in London?
Another question would be is there enough demand? I still think maybe it would make sense to fly to FRA again because its a massive Star hub with excellent facilities but then they could just code share with LH, even though a code share is not the real thing!

Whatever choice they make I hope its to the benefit of Air NZ and travellers between Europe, Asia and New Zealand.

About the aircraft, the 777 would definitely be a good choice but so would be a choice for the A330/340, to go along with their A320s. That would give them more flexibility through commonality.
Yours truly - StarFlyer
 
Drew172
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 4:24 pm


I wasn't talking about flying it as a passenger Star flyer, and I think I will hold on to my little prejudice, thank you very much.
 
v2fix
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 5:01 pm

@StarFlyer - I believe it has already been stated on other topics that the LAX/FRA segment was never profitable for Air New Zealand. Hence the codeshare with LH. So a return there would be undesirable.

The interest of Air New Zealand doing the LHR-HKG sector is that no Star Alliance carrier flies this lucrative segment. Currently is a BA, CX, and VS segment only. Air New Zealand could tap into Star Alliance partners PAX trying to route between these two destinations. Currently they have to place them on rival metal.

LH could route pax not doing the FRA-LAX flight to LHR and then onto NZ aircraft.

@Starflyer - Slots at LHR remain tight, but at certain times of the day there is capacity in T3. US starting flights typically have in the majority all landed by 11pm and gone by 2pm (so that arrive East Cost early evening). After 2pm is fairly quiet in T3 until 7pm when long haul to Asia kick in. The trick would be for Air New Zealand to fit into the 2-7pm space.

On the odd occasion when NZ2 arrives late (and it is fairly rare which is pretty amazing given the distance that bird has flown) it actually sits on stand for 3-4 hours until departure at 16:15. Almost unheard of in the slot constrained world of LHR. Normally NZ2 is parked for the 6 hours she rests her weary engines.




742; 744; DC10, DC3, 321, 320, 319, 170,190, 772, 773,333, 346, 343
 
jesseycy
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 8:29 pm

TG992, I know that the Visa waiver program is still in place, but bear in mind, not only Kiwis fly NZ, other nationalities do as well. A friend of mine going to UK, originally booked on NZ, had to cancel and take CX, because she doesn't want to pay for a US visa (plus, CX is dirt cheap now).

So far, this new "no transit without visa" scheme, has it affected NZ's route?
 
TG992
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RE: Air NZ AKL HKG LHR

Fri Aug 08, 2003 8:37 pm

Jesse, NZ pulled out of the TWOV programme many months ago. Basically, the cost involved in providing it wiped out profit margins on a lot of the fares! (which shows you how ridiculous the argument of those bleating on about how NZ to USA fares are 'far too expensive' etc etc)..

For that reason, any impact that the unavailability of TWOV would have had on NZ has already been felt a long time ago. Loads to LHR are still very strong (in fact, some of our staff travelling as non-revenue pax are currently stuck there, where they've been offloaded from every flight for the last 2 weeks!).
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