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Air New Zealand announces changes to Hong Kong and London flights

Air New Zealand will withdraw services between Hong Kong and London from the 4th March 2013 as the airline focuses on returning its international network to profitability.

In a separate move which is part of Air New Zealand’s strategy to implement an alliance based network with a Pacific Rim focus, the airline has also formed a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific on the Auckland – Hong Kong route.

Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer, says a comprehensive review of the Hong Kong – London service has confirmed the route would not become profitable in the foreseeable future.  A reduction of approximately 70 London based cabin crew roles is expected as a result.

“At the same time, we wanted to strengthen our presence in Hong Kong which is an important market and vital gateway into Mainland China for Air New Zealand.  In line with this we have received approval from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport to form a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific effective from 12 December 2012.”

“The agreement will see both carriers continue to operate the same frequency between Auckland and Hong Kong while introducing code share on each other’s flights as well as opening up excellent connections between New Zealand and Mainland China,” says Mr Fyfe.”

Air New Zealand operates daily year round services between Auckland and Hong Kong while Cathay Pacific operates daily year round services and up to double daily in the peak period between the 2nd December and 1st March.

Air New Zealand customers will now also earn Airpoints™ Dollars on Cathay Pacific flights between Auckland and Hong Kong, and Airpoints and Koru members travelling on Air New Zealand flight numbers will receive lounge access and premium customer benefits on this route.

Mr Fyfe says the decision to exit from Hong Kong – London will enable more capacity to be redeployed onto the popular North American destinations of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last month Air New Zealand announced a further 5,000 return seats to its North American routes through to the end of June 2013.  Releasing capacity from Hong Kong – London enables the continuation of this additional capacity.

“We’re excited about our upcoming move to the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX where Air New Zealand has been contracted to design and operate a brand new and much improved Star Alliance lounge, making Los Angeles a great place to connect through to London or destinations further into Europe.  We remain committed to servicing Europe via these daily Los Angeles – London services.”

Customers currently holding tickets to commence travel with Air New Zealand between Hong Kong and London from March 4 2013 will be re-booked, in most cases onto Cathay Pacific’s services which depart within an hour of Air New Zealand’s existing service.

Customers will be contacted by Air New Zealand or their agent to confirm their re-booking and reissue their tickets. Air New Zealand is working through re-accommodating approximately 8,000 customers and most customers can expect to be contacted within the next couple of weeks.

Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific today announced a new strategic agreement on services operated by both airlines between New Zealand and Hong Kong, effective from the 31st January 2013. Sales will commence on the 12th December 2012.

The agreement between the two airlines has received the required regulatory approval and is expected to generate a wide range of benefits for consumers.

Under the new agreement, both airlines will code-share on all their services between New Zealand and Hong Kong, offering more routing choices to travellers. Improved and better-coordinated flight schedules are expected to increase connection opportunities and enhance connectivity to destinations in China via Hong Kong and beyond Auckland resulting in greater convenience for travellers.

Customers will also enjoy expanded opportunities to earn and redeem frequent flyer points or miles. Top-tier members from Air New Zealand’s Airpoints™ and Cathay Pacific’s The Marco Polo Club will enjoy reciprocal benefits when travelling on code-share flights, including lounge access, extra baggage allowances and many other priority services.

Consumers will benefit from a wider choice of fares between the gateway cities of Auckland/Hong Kong. Enhanced customer service is expected as a result of better-aligned operational procedures and increased opportunities for best-practice sharing.

Air New Zealand’s CEO Rob Fyfe, said: “Hong Kong is a key strategic Pacific Rim port and an important gateway to Mainland China for Air New Zealand. This agreement with Cathay Pacific will provide our passengers with a huge range of additional connections through Hong Kong to Mainland China, as well as access to better-value fares on these connections on Cathay Pacific or its sister airline Dragonair.!”

“We also believe that the benefits arising from this agreement will stimulate tourism from Mainland China to New Zealand through the enhanced connectivity between Cathay Pacific and Dragonair’s services to and from Mainland China with the new code-share services to New Zealand.”

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive John Slosar said: “We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Air New Zealand which will help us explore further the great potential of this market.  This new agreement will open up a vast range of potential opportunities for the two airlines to maximize synergies and better meet customers’ needs.”

The combined NZ and CX schedule on AKL-HKG from the 31st January 2013 is as follows

From HKG to AKL

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Total Flying Hours

CX117/NZ4992

15:25

07:30+1

11:05

CX197/NZ4994

21:00

13:10+1

11:10

NZ38 / 80/CX7401

19:20

11:15+1

10:55

From AKL to HKG

Departure Time

Arrival Time

Total Flying Hours

CX118/NZ4993

08:55

15:20

11:25

CX198/NZ4995

14:25

20:50

11:25

NZ35 / 85/CX7402

23:59

06:05+1

11:06

  •  The above schedules and flight numbers are subject to change
  • CX117/118 operates from 2 December 2012 to 1 March 2013
Some examples of enhanced itineraries through the agreement are as follows:

From Auckland to Beijing via Hong Kong

Before cooperation

From

To

Flight no.

Departure

Arrival

AKL

HKG

CX 198

14:25

20:50

HKG

PEK

CX 390

09:00+1

12:15+1

–       Connection Time – 12:10

–       Total Elapsed Time – 26:50

After cooperation

From

To

Flight no.

Departure

Arrival

AKL

HKG

NZ 035/ CX7402

23:59

06:05+1

HKG

PEK

CX 390

09:00

12:15

–       Connection Time – 2:55

–       Total Elapsed Time – 17:16

From Auckland to India (Chennai) via Hong Kong

Before cooperation

From

To

Flight no.

Departure

Arrival

AKL

HKG

NZ 035

23:59

06:05+1

HKG

MAA

CX 631

22:35

01:45+1

–       –  nnection Timeurs    1310+1    Connection Time – 16:30 hrs

–       Total Elapse Time:Total Elapsed Time – 33:16 hrs

After cooperation

From

To

Flight no.

Departure

Arrival

AKL

HKG

CX 197/ NZ4994

14:25

20:50

HKG

MAA

CX 631

22:35

01:45+1

–       –  nnection Timeurs    1310+1    Connection Time – 1:45 hrs

–       Total Elapse Time:Total Elapsed Time – 18:45 hrs

 

Air New Zealand will honour Airpoints members’ frequent flyer programme points as per their original ticketed booking.

Air New Zealand first began operating services between Hong Kong and London in October 2006 and has operated between 5-7 times a week using a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

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