Another note on the AKL improvements. If this going to help or hinder passengers ex CHC?
They'll be able to connect to RAR/NAN (plus many other places) under one roof in AKL. That experience will be significantly improved over the terminal transfer they currently have. So a huge win for them. But will that make direct flights ex CHC an even harder sell?
Nope - for these short haul sectors a 1-2hour saving getting to NAN/RAR by flying non-stop, plus the incovience of packing up the family on one flight to move to the next, not having to clear the border in AKL partway through your journey, and avoiding the risk of missing connections is surely more attractive than an integrated terminal experience in AKL. While people outside of AKL bleat about the terminal-terminal transfer, its not actually that bad and I wouldnt have thought a big consideration in peoples decision-making.
I completely agree that the uncertainty of missing a connection is a big factor when looking at direct vs a stopover.
I also agree with direct being preferred if we're comparing two identically options on all other elements (price, product etc).
My thinking was more along the lines of.... AKL will always be an option in addition to any direct flights. Will the idea of an easier transit, that being under one roof, not having to move terminals, get wet, rely on a bus etc make this option less unattractive? - not to go as far as suggesting it being the preferred option.
If people do elect via AKL and have a good experience and save money... does this make direct flights more difficult to sell?
Remembering we need enough people willing to pay a premium for a direct as the excess supply ex AKL gives the market loads of seats at cheaper prices. Put simply into an example, we need people to ignore the $200 seat via AKL and buy the $280 direct seat.