An intriguing suggestion; one that goes against the grain of funnelling services through Auckland (and a lesser extent Christchurch), but which would connect the Cook Islands with New Zealand’s captital, and also connect Wellington with the movie-making capital of the world without requiring an international-domestic transfer.
RAR's terminal is far from great - minimal/lower-quality amenities - so RAR's same-terminal transfer offering, IMO, wouldn't be any more attractive than the existing AKL transfer offering. (What AKL loses on, in terms of the hassle of having to move terminals, it makes up for in the amount and quality of amenities it offers - plus schedules.)
Same terminal is only part of it:
- International all the way
- Ability to offer business and prem econ all the way, particularly for the lucrative film and IT industries of which there are a large number of premium travellers. Film industry also generates a lot of air cargo.
- A link to RAR which is a pretty large market out of WLG, plus the ability for dual destination Pacific Is/USA holidays
- As VirginFlyer mentioned, would further lessen the case for a runway extension which would be a positive for Air NZ
- A good way of Air NZ protecting their WLG-US position in the face of what will be tough competition from QF/AA in AKL and soon to be CHC
- A big win for the Cook Islands with added capacity RAR-LAX I would imagine with less of a subsidy required
The question would be how to get the B789 down to WLG which they could do either as a AKL-WLG Domestic (during the peak) - Swingate to WLG-RAR-LAX-RAR-WLG swingate back to WLG OR AKL-LAX-RAR-WLG-RAR-LAX-AKL.
I completely agree with planemanofnz here.
Firstly an LAX-RAR-WLG route sounds great as it opens a WLG-RAR flight if such a thing was needed, will it convince more people in WLG to visit RAR? or will free up space for AKL-RAR etc...
In view of your comments..
- What does "International all the way" actually give you? I'm not 100% sure on this but I believe LAX bound passengers need to be re security screened in RAR
- The Lucrative film and IT industries are the exact group who will avoid RAR, the lounge is just that, a small and comfortable lounge room, it's just like a very large corporate box or hotel room, the airport holds only basic facilities and there are no airbridges etc.
- Look at the scale of Fiji and the Cook Islands for outbound tourism, now scale that proportionally to how WLG-NAN works and you have a quick and dirty view on a WLG-RAR direct. It could work, but as my old saying goes, 'are we just'drawing lines on a map' this time to justify an XLR aircraft
- As for connections and hubs, "A decently timed connection could even allow through routing to London on NZ1/2" - NZ for a long time has encouraged NZ1/2 to be sold as two flights AKL-LAX and then LAX-LHR , with the vast majority of LHR bound traffic from NZ being encouraged to fly over the East and that mid pacific flying, that was all but ended under the Fyfe era, RAR-LAX would be gone if it wasn't supported by the Cooks Islands.
- Protecting WLG-US traffic? Protecting it from what exactly, people who may fly east to Australia or fly to AKL and onto NZ/AA/? A lot like the first two points, what makes RAR so appealing over AKL, BNE, SYD as it's still a one-stop connection. NZ much like QF are doing in Australia, they are opening new markets directly into more ports within the states, this is where the market protection comes from. How many US-bound passengers use WLG-NAN-LAX over AKL, SYD, MEL and is that seen as a threat to any of the major carriers?
Your last point confuses me, you say it's a big win for the Cook Island as there's "added capacity RAR-LAX I would imagine with less of a subsidy required" but if there's a need for it to be subsidised today, why's there a need for more capacity and how is that going to be filled and converted into revenue offsetting the subsidy.