Air New Zealand announced today that the continued softening of forward bookings on some international routes due to the effects of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has resulted in the airline making further cancellations of some services for May and June, in addition to those previously announced. These changes, along with those announced 31 March, represent a 7% reduction in total available capacity across the airline's international network (as measured in available seats per kilometre).
Customers due to fly on the cancelled services will be rebooked on the next suitable flight and notified of the changes to Air New Zealand's schedule by their booking agent. The international services cancelled during May & June, are now as follows:
- Auckland/Nagoya/Auckland - all scheduled flights (three times per week) have now been cancelled from Thursday 15 May to 30 June inclusive, a total of 21 return flights
- Auckland/Kansai/Christchurch/Auckland - two of the six services per week have been cancelled ( Sundays & Tuesdays ) most weeks from Sunday 25 May to Tuesday 01 July, a total of eleven return flights
- A daily service to Narita will remain, however, three of the five services will utilise smaller aircraft changing from a Boeing 747 400 aircraft (392 seats) to a Boeing 767 300 aircraft (230 seats). These are as follows:
- Auckland/Narita/Auckland - Sunday flights: 25 May; 08, 15 & 29 June
- Auckland/Narita/Christchurch/Auckland - Monday flights: 12,19 & 26 May; 02, 09,16 & 23 June; and Tuesday flights: 27 May; 03, 10, 17 & 24 June.
Auckland/Hong Kong/Auckland - Monday 05 May service cancelled (in addition to the eight return flights previously announced 31 March).
Auckland - Los Angeles flights cancelled on the following days: Friday 23 May, Wednesday 11 June & Sunday 15 June ( in addition to the five services previously announced 31 March). These Los Angeles services were introduced in anticipation of extra demand following the withdrawal of United Airlines from the route in April. Air New Zealand will continue to operate the usual double daily service between Auckland and Los Angeles.
Partially offsetting these cancellations has been the strengthening in forward bookings on our trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic routes. Domestic booking levels have remained strong.
Cargo plays a important part on the overall profitability of our routes to Asia, in particular Hong Kong, and has continued to hold on these routes.
The impact on demand from the war in Iraq was lower then anticipated, resulting in a strong third quarter financial performance. However the current world airline industry environment clearly remains extremely volatile with profit realised to date being subject to downside risk. This risk includes, but is not limited to, further decline in traffic, decline in yields, increased fuel prices and a decline in the New Zealand dollar.
This volatility has been reflected in our revised earnings estimate of Profit before Unusuals and Tax of around $200 million for the year ending 30 June 2003. This estimate includes implying booking patterns into periods where late cancellations have not yet been seen. These booking cancellations may result in short-term consolidation of flying to some markets and further cancellation of flights.
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.