NZ6 wrote:PER: Yes, an A321 could work nicely on this, but is there a requirement for 3x AKL on top of daily from CHC? How does the economics of say 14 per week using a 787 compare to 28x A321 services? .
The frequencies I mentioned are purely speculative to illustrate that effectively you could have a morning. an afternoon and an evening flight all connecting different markets if demand allows, working on 16/15/152 or thereabouts. Obviously the ins and outs of what specific frequency/config is definitely open for debate, Yes I expect you are right regarding 3 a day AKL and 1 ex CHC, but I would certainly expect 2 a day to be sustainable in addition to CHC, one for the morning hub (ex L/H US and EZE) and a "domestic connection" flight for the afternoon. Let's use Code 2 787 27/33/215 config as a comparison. With 2 a day A321s you are only looking at 32/30/304 seats ex AKL, which is well within the capacity increases NZ has done in the past to expand a market. I think CHC has shown that it can sustain the capacity per week that it currently has with a 787-9 twice a week with 15/21/302, of course, if you divide that capacity up into A321 loads you are looking at roughly 4 a week which is probably about right as well and allows for the fact that an airline that has better frequency automatically attracts more passengers because it appears on more search options. With regard to DPS/HNL, I think it would most likely be a nice boost to have A321s CHC-HNL or a morning departure for AKL, or even just to fill out to a daily schedule with a mix of 787s and A321s.
As far as some of the other narrowbody concerns stated by DavidByrne I think as long as all the identical features the passengers are used to remain such as free wifi. IFE, skycouch, existing PE (say on a 3-2 config) and a fully lie-flat Business bed in line with the new business product coming I think passengers/markets would rather go with frequency, as they have done for years with 3-6 domestic ATRs over 1-2 a day 733.A320s. With specific regard to MNL and CGK, I actually believe that PR will be ordering these aeroplanes too, and may well send them to AKL longterm with more frequency. To me, it's a low-cost expansion aircraft to test markets or increase capacity without going overboard. I think if used right it could really force AKL airport to rethink their rate of expansion if they felt that CHC might be gaining capacity at their expense.
There's another side I would like to explore and that is what if a carrier like SB or TN was to order them. [email protected] should allow for SIN/NRT/ICN/KIX/HKG/HNL and [email protected] should allow for IAH, LIM, EZE, SFO, SEA, YVR as well as SYD, MEL, ADL, BNE. That could significantly grow market access and the ability to uplift transit passengers as well. Even if we stick with NZ for a second, what if it opened up the ability for NZ to base/rotate a fleet/crew in say RAR (or anywhere else that wants NZ to manage their airline for example) in order to offset the "no one-stop' mentality. This would be in the UA/GUM mould.
Thanks to all for indulging a bit of blue sky thinking.