22 December 2010

China Airlines recommencing operations to Auckland

On 3 December 2010 China Airlines (CI) announced that it would be recommencing operations to Auckland (AKL) by extending its Taipei-Brisbane (BNE) service three times per week using A330-300 aircraft. The operation is due to restart on 1 January 2011.

Auckland International Airport had commented on the return of China Airlines in a media statement dated 30 November 2010.

A significant change that should boost the chances of success of the new air service is the decision of the New Zealand Government to grant people from the island of Taiwan visa-free access to New Zealand. A similar decsion by the United Kingdom Government has lead to a major boost in travel from Taiwan to the UK (see previous post).

SkyTeam member China Southern Airlines to operate to Auckland

On 12 December 2010 Auckland International Airport issued a media statement welcoming the announcement that China Southern Airlines (CZ) is to commence operating from Guangzhou to Auckland from March 2011, initially via Melbourne three times per week with A330-300 aircraft.

This announcement together with the announcements that China Airlines (CI) and Aerolineas Aerolineas (AR) will be joining the SkyTeam global airline alliance means that this third allinace will be establishing a more substantial presence in the New Zealand market. Currently the only SkyTeam member airline operating to New Zealand is Korean Air (KE).

Canberra and Wellington approve Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue group Alliance

Following a pre-decision conference on 18 October 2010 (see previous post), on 16 December 2010 the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it had reversed its draft determination (see previous post) and given a conditional authorisation of the application from the Virgin Blue group and Air New Zealand for an Alliance covering their trans-Tasman services. The approval is valid for three years. The ACCC also issued its redacted 120-page final determination.

The Virgin Blue group issued a media statement welcoming the decision. A media statement was also issued by Wellington International Airport.

On 21 December 2010 the New Zealand Minister of Transport, Hon Steven Joyceannounced that he had also given a conditional approval of the application (see previous post). This authorisation is also valid for three years.

The Ministry of Transport made available on its web site a redacted version of its 58-page final report giving advice to the Minister, together with the Alliance Capacity Implementation Agreement and some questions and answers.

Air New Zealand issued a short media statement welcoming the decision.