Qantas kept maintaining London despite the long distance between Oceania and Europe unlike ANZ, so why couldn't ANZ maintain London as well even if both of these airlines technically were doing well in there?
If I recall correctly NZ maintained a crew base in London to operate the LHR-LAX rtn sectors. This might have proven too costly in the long run to justify the route?
ding ding ding
We have a winner.
COULD Air NZ keep doing AKL-LHR? Sure. But it just didn't make economic sense when those aircraft could be utilized elsewhere for better return. With all the alliance and codeshare agreements today, operating such a route is a pride thing for an airline like Air NZ. We're long past the days where you only had two or three options to get from NZ to Europe.
Runway at current length seems perfectly adequate. Certainly supports large volume of domestic traffic and we're returning to higher frequency of 737/A320 services to Australian destinations. And it's now established it can support a modern widebody – SQ operated the A359 for some months before covid arrived. It appears that technically the 359 could do full pax to Singapore off the current runway which makes the original business case for a runway extension questionable.
You do make a good point there. I guess no one has fully confirmed the data that it could do it but I feel if they were to operate a direct flight, they'd want some form of cargo going and that's perhaps why they wouldn't have done direct (if the flight stayed post covid). Also if this worked, WLG would surely have wanted to entice other airlines to fly non-stop eventually, down the road the runway extension would have been needed I feel for those services.
But we live with what it is and currently make do with the current services
The boomer NIMBYs certiainly haven't helped grow the region in a way that gives people spare cash to spend on travel. Anyways, WLG is good for what it is with regular connections to AKL. I see WIAL focusing more on regional and electric flights in the medium term as that will be a major area of growth as they come online.
The argument against AKL-LAX-LHR never made economic sense and it makes still less economic sense in this world of inflated premium airfares.
It's a simple consequence of the smallness of the NZ market and the lack of corporate demand from the USA to NZ that yields on AKL-USA can never match yields on LAX-LHR. They never have and they never will.
If all markets had equal yield levels then yes, certainly point-to-point flights would be preferable to one-stop flights.
But firstly, that never applied to NZ 1/2 AKL-LAX-LHR precisely BECAUSE the airline had the rights to sell point-to-point LAX-LHR and vice versa. That's why AKL-LAX-LHR saw off AKL-HKG-LHR, to the shock of the planners who expected the converse to be the case. People like David Beckham and a host of Hollywood and TV industry-funded passengers ensured that for year after year after year, NZ1/2 LAX-LHR-LAX basically subsidised the failing Auckland to Shanghai route.
And secondly, somebody should try telling Singapore Airlines that one-stop tickets are not profitable. Or Emirates. Or every single US carrier that uses a hub-and-spoke model.
The spin was that China would somehow miraculously be a more profitable market than LHR, even though all four Japanese ports had been economic basket cases. And, surprise surprise, Beijing was a complete disaster for Air NZ and Shanghai only ever broke even once in a decade and a half.
It was good timing that the London route closed for the two and a half years of Covid related travel.
But the 77Ws could each do a AKL-SYD/MEL/BNE-AKL-LAX or a LHR-LAX return in 24 hours.
No such opportunities exist on the Houston let alone Newark or Chicago routes. The timetabling involved long periods of inactivity in between ULH sectors.
There is a certain woke hipness in imagining that New Zealand is somehow part of Asia, even though Auckland is further from Shanghai than London is from the Congo. Now that the Air NZ Shanghai delusion has failed we now hear the same arguments against London continuing to be trotted out, even though Air NZ is currently only maintaining yields to and from North America by throttling supply by using smaller aircraft with fewer premium seats.
One day, some day, fare levels will return to normal. And hopefully then somebody will be left to recall that Air NZ chose to surrender its one and only high-volume high-yield route - London to Los Angeles.