AirAsia quits NZ for the sec­ond time

The Northern Advocate - - Business -

AirAsia is ad­vis­ing thou­sands of its Kiwi pas­sen­gers to call its “Cus­tomer Hap­pi­ness” team af­ter quit­ting New Zea­land for the sec­ond time in seven years.

The Malaysia-based air­line says it will stop fly­ing be­tween Auck­land and the Gold Coast from Fe­bru­ary 1, af­fect­ing about 2000 Ki­wis. The bud­get air­line will also scale back fly­ing across the Tas­man from daily to four times a week from Jan­uary 29 un­til it pulls out com­pletely.

AirAsia has been fly­ing from Kuala Lumpur to Auck­land via the Gold Coast for the last two and a half years.

A spokesman said the de­ci­sion to sus­pend ser­vices to Auck­land was a “dif­fi­cult one”, but was made as we look to realign our net­work to fo­cus on core mar­kets such as Aus­tralia, In­dia, China and Japan.

The loss of the daily ser­vice will cut com­pe­ti­tion on the Tas­man, with its 377-seat Air­bus A330s pro­vid­ing some down­ward pres­sure on fares.

Hel­loworld ex­ec­u­tive gen­eral man­ager Si­mon McKear­ney said loy­alty to well-known car­ri­ers into the Gold Coast — Air New Zea­land and Jet­star — made it dif­fi­cult for AirAsia.

“New Zea­land con­sumers are loyal to brands they know and trust and makes the sus­tain­abil­ity of such routes for the lesser known car­ri­ers in our mar­ket sus­cep­ti­ble,” he said.

Other air­lines would be as­sess­ing their pres­ence here.

“I think, de­pend­ing on air­line hedg­ing poli­cies, that f uel move­ments will give rise to more of these sin­gle route car­ri­ers eval­u­at­ing their re­turns and hence con­sid­er­a­tion of f l ying i nto mar­kets such as New Zea­land,” said McKear­ney.

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, AirAsia said it will give full re­funds, move travel for­ward or reroute their travel. “Guests can also reach out to our Cus­tomer Hap­pi­ness team,” it says.

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