28 June 2015
Recent Regional Changes in the NZ Aviation Scene
What an amazing couple of weeks it has been in third level scene. First Jetstar have announced their intention to move into the regional market. Kiwi Regional have announced their start date and first routes. And finally newcomer Originair have been the shock news with the announcement of their intention to start services from Nelson.
Rumours that Jetstar were coming to enter the regional market have been around for years. The announcement that these will be operated with 50 seat Bombardier Q300s indicates a couple of things... they are using spare Qantas capacity and given the size of the aircraft it is unlikely there will be a huge number of cheap seats. Nonetheless I expect there will be some form of air war. It will be interesting to see what four ports they choose.
Of more interest to me are the other two announcements. Ewan Wilson's Kiwi Regional has announced a twice daily Dunedin to Queenstown return service morning and evening with a Dunedin-Nelson-Hamilton return service in the middle of the day. While I think the Dunedin-Nelson-Hamilton service might generate some traffic the Dunedin-Queenstown service is just nuts without the cola. Going back to Southern Scenic Airways many have tried connecting the two centres and failed. I suspect this particular route won't last long.
And Ewan Wilson must be slightly peeved about Robert Inglis' plans for Originair especially operating on the Nelson-Palmerston North route. Robert Inglis has a lot of experience but taking on Air New Zealand head to head on the Nelson-Wellington route is either brave or stupid. I think I would have focused on the Nelson-Palmerston North service which was apparently doing very well. Two return weekday flights that are too late for morning business flights and too early for evening business flights won't be real winners in my opinion. If Jetstar goes Wellington Nelson one wonders what Originair' future will be.
2015 is certainly been a real year for third level airlines. As in the past with third level airlines time will tell who or what will survive.
Posted by Steve L at 5:58 AM