mariner wrote:Kiwirob wrote:If routes need to remain for political and social purposes then there is no other option except for the govt to subsidise the route, it's what happens in Norway, public service obligation routes are bid on by airlines and the govt picks up the tab.
Not in my book.
I said I agree that Air NZ should be run as a commercial organisation - use it or lose it - but it isn't owned as a free market corporation and a very real part of its success, good times and bad, is maintaining the goodwill of the market, "goodwill" being a quantifiable element of any successful company's balance sheet.
The thing is though, it is owned as a "free market corporation" and it was when it was 83% owned by the NZ Government just as it is now with the NZ Government holding a significantly reduced shareholding. While I would be the first to say that Air NZ owes the government a debt of gratitude for ensuring it's survival, the government in many ways holds some responsibility for setting the stage for the disaster that was Brieley's ownership to start with.
The reality is there is no "kiwi share" ala Telecom back in the day. The government and therefore NZ taxpayer have very much profited from their investment in what is a wholly commercial organisation.
The goodwill you speak of, and it's commercial importance is why I think their will be a third way and that Air NZ will not necessarily abandon a lot of routes when the Q300 reaches its end of life. The simple reality is that there is money to be made and there are economies of scale that are leveraged in providing services back through the regions.
While I can see it happening I think a repeat of history where Air NZ pulls out and then subsequently buys into 3rd level operators would be, well, just silly.