Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Ralph Norris, said the decision to suspend services was made as part of an ongoing review of the airline's long haul business.

"We have not made this decision lightly - quite simply our service between Sydney and Los Angeles is one of our least profitable. However, we will continue to monitor the route and, if market conditions improve, we will be prepared to re-enter."

"Meanwhile, the United Airlines withdrawal from New Zealand as from April 2003 has opened up additional opportunities for our Auckland - Los Angeles operations," said Mr Norris.

"Unfortunately, the uncertainty surrounding current market conditions, including the potential Iraq situation and uncertainty around approval of the alliance with Qantas, do not provide us with the level of confidence to bring additional aircraft into the fleet to service both routes at this time," he said.

Air New Zealand's Australian-based sales team will continue to serve Australian customers' needs.

The airline's Star Alliance partner, United Airlines, has retained its Australian services and Air New Zealand has a code-share arrangement with them on their Sydney -
Los Angeles services.

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.