Air Taiwan - Have to disagree with your analysis.
Canadians demise, sad as it was, left Canada with a single dominant native carrier, Air Canada as well as support from numerous US airlines operating an efficiant hub system. And several new low cost airlines.
Was Canada's GDP hurt significatly by Canadians demise. No.
New Zealand is an isolated, water locked country, whose nearest neighbour (Aus) is over 3 hours flight time away. New Zealands GDP is very exposed to the Tourist trade and the demise of a national carrier will hurt NZ
significantly. The NZ
government, for the sake of the country, cannot let the national carrier fail. Hence their bail out after the Ansett debarkle. But the ability of the government to continually bail out any airline is limited - they simply do not have the money (or polictical will).
So Air New Zealand needs to find a sustainable home. Hence the proposed tie-up with Qantas.
Also, the transportation infrastructure in New Zealand is at a capable scale for a country of 4 million people. Thus, travelling any distance in any short (and reasonable) period of time requires an airline. This is Air New Zealand core and profitable market - and they must and will defend it to the hilt (lots of press statements about this out all ready).
If Air New Zeland does not tie up with another major airline, to survive it will shrink to a national airline with some limited international service where competiton is minimal and premium prices can be charged.
Sorry if this read like a Ralph Norris (CEO Air New Zealand) press statement, but I happen to believe that the strategy he is trying to get adopted is absolutely 100% correct!