01 December 2018

What do you think???

The following is part of a larger article on my local, Hamilton Airport...

Another large piece of planning by the airport involved a look into the possibility of bringing more airlines back to the airport.

Air New Zealand currently holds a monopoly.

"We are doing a piece of research at the moment, and we've just commenced that," Morgan said.

"Really, what I'd like to understand once and for all are the facts around what the proposition is for [another] airline such as Jetstar to consider Hamilton, because there is a lot of misinformation and anecdote in the marketplace."

The research will be received in March, having assessed the situation, whether there is a potential business case to welcome another airline to Hamilton, and help the airport prepare a business case.

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/108963539/hamilton-airport-upgrading-researching-potential-to-bring-in-more-airlines

My question is, Is New Zealand large enough for two airlines in the regions???

In recent years we have seen Ansett try on the main trunk and selected regional services...

We have seen Qantas try on the main trunk and selected regional services using Origin Pacific...

We now have Jetstar which operate on the the main trunk and selected regional services...

Kiwi Regional tried inter regional services...

Air Chathams won't go head to head with Air New Zealand...

So what are your thoughts???


  1. If anyone can become the second NZ airline it would be Jetstar. But that's the question, is NZ big enough for 2 airlines? I would say no, there's some that can play it out, like the current ones and maybe Tauranga and Hamilton, but places like Hokitika and Timaru, I cant see there being a second airline for them, yet...

    Time will tell I guess, but for now Air NZ are free to do what they want in a lot of the airports, hope to see more airlines in NZ!

  2. Take New Plymouth for example. Jetstar and Air NZ on AKL flights. Jetstar usually twice daily, Air NZ up to nine times daily. Jetstar has flights available even up to a few days before departure for as little as $29, whereas Air NZ will ask $130. Yet Jetstar flights depart far from full, and Air NZ still get really good loadings. Half a plane full on JQ with most paying under $50 is not going to be sustainable.

    Jetstars reputation precedes them, and the Regions, especially Taranaki have a general distrust of them.

    Time will tell I guess, but I can't see any regional competitor of Air NZ doing very well out of their services. Air Chathams are clever, Craig is a very sensible guy, and the regions his Airline serves i reckon see better service then one with Air NZ

  3. I think the key question would be....
    What other routes would be the most likely candidate for Air NZ to cut... the eventual Q300 retirement...and who would fill what...

    Wonder if GBA would consider Hamilton Auckland early morning again now they have the modern Cessna caravan? Is there any potential in the business commute that eagle air use to operate.

    Air Chathams
    I feel air chats are the closest NZ operated airliner to become the next "mount cook airlines (almost same looking aircraft with a very similar cheat line running up tail albeit different colors!!)" that has the ability operate a comprehensive national route and compete with Air NZ. BUT... They are currently running a very fine line of operating the big centers that air nz has pulled out from and not competing directly with Air nz. If air nz were to pull out of anymore centers, air chats would probably be wanting to only operate routes out of Auckland being their main hub. That said... nothing stopping them from operating out of Wellington or ChCh but I feel Sounds air would be competing to keep that central NZ market to themselves.

    Sounds air
    Strange one really... a small 3rd leveler that is already actually competing with Air New Zealand AND... Jetstar.... Wellington to Blenhiem and Nelson.
    With the news of looking into three potential B1900 on order. I really thought sounds air was going to really make an effort of growing into that next stage of an airliner and operate a pressurised twin engine fleet. With Taupo and to a lesser extent... Westport and the Napier Blenheim route these routes would benefit from and have potential to grow with the size of a beech upwards.
    Nothing since has happened and I would love to have been a fly on the wall during discussions with the shareholders and regarding the final outime of that... nothing has been made public of that.
    Be interesting to see where to now for Sounds or are they just happy to use the PC12 Caravan combo. Being based in Wellington. There arnt really any decent size "potential" scraps on offer from Air NZ that would entice sounds air another look into it's fleet future... Gisboune and Timaru are the only real contenders both of which have recently got strong backing from Luxon. No chance of Sounds air at this stage competing with Air NZ unless there is a major rush of blood to the head...

    VH-.... aircraft says it all really. Operating domestically in NZ but not really a nz airline at this stage but still... The only real airline competing directly with Air NZ with Q300 and A320s.. It will be interesting to see where they end up..

    Origin air and inflight with their J31/32...

    That's it really

    1. No fine line with Air Chats. It's a pretty clear, thick line. Air Chats will not compete with Air NZ. End of story.

      Air Chathams are more interested in working 'with' Air NZ in regards to interlining

    2. ^meant thick not thin didn't see that while writing this on my phone

    3. Be interesting to see what Chats use their ATR for

    4. Will be. But even more so when they get can the much longer for 733! Exciting times ahead I reckon for this amazing airline

    5. ***longed for***^^^

    6. Chats ATR for Norfolk and charters?

      Perhaps another route could be WHKWLG OR PPQCHC

      They will no doubt have crew problems like the majors are experiencing.

    7. No way would they operate a ATR for WLG-WHK or PPQ-CHC. More likely a Metro for both, or a Saab for PPQ. But yeah, I was thinking ATR for NLK. Could be a good suit. Maybe even the odd CHT when there is a bit of people to be moved

    8. Oh yea thats what I meant I doubt the atr would be much moneymaking use out of those ports

  4. It's a difficult issues when you have 1 big player they can use market share to dominate. It appears you need to have a fair bit of financial backing to succeed in Aviation Even Jetstar struggle with the backing of Qantas. While I have never had a major issue with jetstars jet operation I also had a friend who had 4 consecutive flights between New Plymouth and Auckland cancelled. Needless to say he won't fly Jetstar again.

    I believe it's no coincidence that the current Large 3rd level I operators succeed by not competing with Air NZ and concentrating on serving their niche well.

    As far as Hamilton goes the only opportunity i see that might be viable is Hamilton New Plymouth which I don't believe is serviced

  5. Hamilton airport is bit of a sad case. Such a lovely airport after some huge upgrades, showed so much potential kiwi freedom virgin then Air NZ but that big airport now a easy hours drive... it's not in a isolated part of the country. Not sure what got palmy the edge (Jetstar) when it's smaller than Hamilton and also a hour or so drive to Wellington.
    What potential does Hamilton airport have... could it take over from Auckland airport regards air freight?

    1. What speeds are you driving to get between Palmy and Wellington in an hour! Takes me just under an hour to get to just Kapiti and then a further hour to get to Palmy from there.

      I think it's as you pointed out, Hamilton is now closer to Auckland thanks to the Expressway. Palmerston North may become similar once the new expressway finishes that extends from just north of Wellington all the way to Levin.

      Also Jetstar seem to be basing their regional services out of Auckland, wouldn't be appropriate i would imagine to have a Q300 flying between Auckland and Hamilton. I'm sure if they flew a few more routes out of Wellington or Christchurch, Hamilton will be one of the top destinations!

    2. I think when JQ announced their regional routes some people thought that their NSN-WLG route was to prevent the "Air Auckland" backlash, similar to what Air NZ seems to get. So it seems that yes, AKL is indeed their main focus for regional routes.

      As for main trunk, however, it's nice to see WLG getting the same jet flights as AKL (to CHC, DUD, ZQN) from Jetstar, as well as NSN.

  6. I think there is room for JQ into the major regional centres ... I think of you added ROT/TRG, HLZ and CHC/DUD you really would cover all the major stuff . And I think JQ could make this work. HLZ is always tricky though as for AKL based aircraft there would have to be a AKL/HLZ/AKL rotation which might actually suit many travellers since NZ cut their link.

  7. Hamilton is an interesting airport. Hamilton is NZ's 4th largest city and is growing but has close proximity to Auckland Airport in regards passenger air travel, especially when the Waikato Expressway is completed. Currently InterCity operates up to 13 daily services between HLZ and AKL including 4 daily express bus services HLZ/Auckland Airport. Skip Trips (subsidiary of InterCity Group) is operating up to 3 daily express bus services HLZ/Auckland airport with fares from $7.00 each way, making AKL airport preferred domestic gateway for Air NZ domestic jet services.

    Air NZ is already providing up 8 daily AKL/HLZ and up to 4 direct flights HLZ/CHC, so I do not see Jetstar or any other 1st or 2nd level regional passenger carrier operating in and out of Hamilton.

    Hamilton airport future can be in freight especially Hamilton airport development of their industrial park and the new 2 inland freight terminals or possible Trans Tasman flights operated by Tigarair of lesser extend Jetstar to secondary Australian east coast destinations due to high cost of operating in/out of Auckland.

    1. Think you may mean WLG-HLZ. The AKL link is long gone!

    2. Exactly what I said Kris but much better put. Take out the freight at Auckland airport which will free up space (which is lacking atm with a very slow board team who just want $$$ in their pockets and no putting that $$$ they are creaming back into proper airside development.)
      With rail not far and huge land around Hamilton airport and being very agricultural, one would think it would make a perfect air freight airport.
      Also of cource international flights.... ALK bursting at the seams and high operating costs being a monopoly.
      With the right marketing, surly LLC could see potential with Hamilton as a alternative.... Could Hamilton become a alt hub for provincial centers with a 3rd level carrier linking up with a LLC operating into Hamilton to the likes of Taupo Napier New Plymouth as an alternitive to flying out of Auckland... Sounds air to Hamilton and tiger air to Gold coast or Air Asia to KL for example???

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. But yeah..
      Hamilton airport. It is one of the more beautiful airports (as far as NZ airports go....) It's got great bones got an airport all set up for International flights, an apron and runway capable of heavies up to a330 767 I believe. Just a little extension to the runway to get full ops (which they have consent for) and the population and industry to match... Just a shit location regarding Auckland airport up the road.
      But all it takes is some savy marketing and out side the square thinking.....

    5. Frass444 - Hamilton can be a international gateway for a LCC like Tigerair, as Rotorua is 1hr 45mins and Tauranga 1hr 30mins from Hamilton.

      The airport company has the land to extend the runaway. If you are correct, A330F/B767F could operate freight services. The Terminal can handle A320/A321 and B737's.

      In regards to passenger regional traffic, getting to to/from Hamilton city to the airport is expensive. A ride haring service can up to $60.00 each way if you don't have a car. It is cheaper to travel to Auckland airport from Hamilton has a return trip by InterCity or Skip is cheaper than a one way ride sharing fare.

      There is a new subdivision being planned not far from the Airport, so a recommendation has been made to Waikato Regional Council for a regular bus service from the city to the new subdivision terminating at the airport.

      I do agree with, the airport company needs to make some savy outside the square long term planning and marketing, as the airport has good potential for the Waikato and Hauraki regions.

    6. Air Chathams.
      With their ever growing fleet and business jets using their ramp at Auckland Airport, I cant imagine space is a luxury at their current base in Auckland nor is the cost... One wonders how much they spend in rent. (unless they have a real good deal since they have been there for a while now)

      If Air Chathams moved their fleet base to Hamilton, lots more room to maintain their aircraft, possible lower overheads, cheaper accommodation for staff. With some savy marketing with both Hamilton council and Hamilton airport meeting halfway by offering some real cheap rates for international airlines that undercut Auckland by a significant margin but still gives the airport a profit, they could set up Hamilton airport as a regional-International gateway alternative to Auckland. With some interline agreements with a international airline, be it LLC to a full service. Air Chats could interline with a or many international airlines and set up flights within regional New Zealand all without directly competing with Air New Zealand. Start operating out of Hamilton and connecting regional centers around the country to the world

      Here is an example of Regional-International
      Gisborne to Hamilton, Nelson to Hamilton operated by Air Chats and connection through China Eastern to London, Scoot Singapore to Hamilton then Air Chathams to Wanaka.
      Air Chats fresh fish/Crayfish cargo from the Chathams to Hamilton for the fresh produce to get straight onto an awaiting Cathay Cargo along with any other produce Blueberries/kiwifruit/dairy from around the Waikato/Bay of Plenty region (rail that runs not far from Hamilton Airport.

      If an international airline changed operations from Auckland to opertaions out of Hamilton.. Would costs that are passed down to the passenger be reduced through various "reduced" charges that would be saved apposed to operating out of Auckland? enticing people with cheaper fares?

      Of course, Auckland with a population of 1.5 mill. There must be some breakdown of a 50 seat Q300 from Gisborne to Auckland. What percentage is made up from business commuters/tourist/locals visiting friends and family/locals catching a connection overseas. Businesses that are based in Auckland etc.
      Basically, the only comparable airport/population center to Hamilton/Hamilton Airport would have to be Dunedin regarding aerodrome size, land to expand and population size. Where Dunedin has a considerable jet service from Air NZ and Jetstar, servicing a population smaller than Hamilton. Dunedin has isolation from another large airport as an advantage. But Hamilton has potential to tap into a very wide market and population net that Dunedin doesn't have