From what I can gather PAL is an underrated carrier struggling to shake off their old reputation but making leaps and gains and I am looking forward to trying them soon on a flight to NZ. Super glad they have found a solid market in NZ. All credits to them.
Having done some consulting for PAL, I dont think they are attempting to shake of anything old. To the contrary, they are more of the same.
The airline struggles with everything behind the scenes. I also doubt that AKL is profitable, no I can say with certainty that it isn't presently, so sponsorship is more likely due to either a local agent or PALs staff of specific families looking for a nice vacation.
However with the boom in Filipino migration to Auckland over the last few years, mostly well educated (many from the top 3 universities which in PH means a lot - less of the nurses/agri workers/wives migration) should see better numbers and quickly rising such. Philippines is actually a damn good value for money / good experience travel destination.
BR and NZ did AKL-TPE for years, often each seasonally sharing with a code sharing agreement. CI came in 2011 after both NZ/BR stopped, so as you say it seems CI lack confidence in the market or in their own marketing department?
Maybe they dont take advise from the marketing department rather the finance department?
NZ saying they will go for higher value clients makes me smile. Question is who?
Its not like the Koru club members are flocking to Taipei and NZ ability to attract higher paying pax from Asia is somewhere between nil and zero. As far as I see, the only thing they NZ has going for itself to TPE is BR. BR is a class act.
However while getting pax from BR might help, getting high end such is a different story. Asian fliers of some wealth dont tend to be impressed with NZ and its service levels. From Singapore our offices had to guarantee that employees weren't put on NZ and we are definitely not the only large MNE. With that said corporate traffic to New Zealand is quite limited so it might not make such a difference.
Anyway, Ill put my neck out and predict that AKL-TPE will be dropped within 24 months.
No One Likes Us - We Dont Care.