07 March 2016

A glimpse into Kiwi Regional

www.sunlive.co.nz is an excellent newspaper based in Tauranga with great on-line content on what is happening around the Tauranga area. I found this piece published last week which gives an excellent glimpse into how Ewan Wilson sees Kiwi Regional is developing... 

The Kiwi Air flight from Nelson to Tauranga today came in 91 per cent occupied, that's with only three vacant seats, and underlines the regional airline's announcement of expanded regional services. From May 14, Kiwi's air services will include new direct flights between Nelson and Tauranga, more flights between Nelson and Dunedin, and twice-weekly connections between Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson. More Tauranga Nelson flights are being planned. “This next step of additional utilisation is bringing us to the point where the airline should be able to show profitability sometime by the end of this year if we take these necessary steps,” says KRA CEO Ewan Wilson. The announced changes come two weeks after KRA began Tauranga flights. “We are really pleased, but I've been in the aviation game long enough to know you don't ever measure success over the short term, you have got to take a medium to long term view, it's early days for us. “But we are taking the appropriate incremental step building capacity and frequency.” The schedule from May 14 is the optimal schedule for a one-aircraft operation, says Ewan. KRA operates a 34 seat Saab 340. The additional flights means the aircraft is still flying less than six hours a day. It's the optimal schedule for a one aircraft operation and for crew resourcing. “The one aircraft is very capable of running the schedule we have put in place,” says Ewan. “Having said that, it's fair enough to say Kiwi Regional will need to do something about an ongoing back up if we had a mechanical issue.” The challenges of operating a one-aircraft airline were demonstrated on Friday when the Saab was grounded at Hamilton because of a problem with a caution light used in the pre-start process, says blogspot 3rdlevelnz. While a Kiwi Air staffer flew the Tasman to collect the part, Air Chathams' 50 seat Convair 580 was called in to run the service. “Chatham air did that for us and we use them for when we have planned maintenance,” says Ewan. The company's is still considering how best to put a long term solution in place likely to announce something like that very soon,” says Ewan. Kiwi Regional Air is flying for the leisure, rather than the corporate market. It means they choose different routes for different reasons. The direct Tauranga-Christchurch, Tauranga-Wellington or Tauranga-Auckland are the corporate routes. And catering for the business travellers on those routes involves five or six flights a day, says Ewan. “That's not what Kiwi Regional Air is about. That market niche is fully subscribed by one of the best airlines in the world that has incredible resources is government owned and is highly profitable,” says Ewan. “You would be absolutely mad to try to take them on or you would have to be a Qantas, who is equally well resourced. That's not what Kiwi Regional air is about, says Ewan. “We are leisure based, providing regional to regional service offered to the leisure traveller. “If you sit on board a flight out of Tauranga it is retirees travelling to visit children or mum and dad with a brand new baby visiting grandparents in Nelson or Christchurch. That's what our market is that's what we subscribe to and that what we think is our point of difference. “That's why we are avoiding that other corporate type routes.”

1 comment:

  1. That explains why TRG is becoming KRA focus, as there is large retired and retiring baby boomer leisure market catchement from New Zealand's 5th largest city.

    TRG/NSN route will probably become their main core route, as NSN has also a reasonably large retired leisure market that hasn't been really catered for.

    I wonder what the loadings are like for NSN/DUN route, as this route hasn't fully catered for out of NSN in the past.

    I still think TRG/NPE is on the cards for KRA, as NPE/HST is a good mixture of families and retiree leisure market and TRG/PPQ which has a similar market catchment as TRG.

    Since they based in HLZ, they haven't done much developing more services out of HLZ, being New Zealand's 4th largest city, is closer to AKL for any passengers who want to air. Plus InterCity operates 5 daily express bus bus services between HLZ/AKL Airport.

    They are probably waiting for their second aircraft before developing any more services out of HLZ.

    Ewan Wilson has said from the start, he is only interested in the leisure market.