Air New Zealand is to withdraw services between London and Hong Kong from 4th March 2013 as the airline focuses on returning its international network to profitability, but has also formed a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific on the Auckland – Hong Kong route.
Chief Executive Rob Fyfe said that a comprehensive review of the London – Hong Kong service confirmed that the route would not become profitable in the foreseeable future. “At the same time, we wanted to strengthen our presence in Hong Kong, which is an important market and vital gateway into Mainland China for Air New Zealand. In line with this we have received approval from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport to form a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific effective from 12th December 2012.
“The agreement will see both carriers continue to operate the same frequency between Auckland and Hong Kong while introducing code share on each other’s flights as well as opening up excellent connections between New Zealand and Mainland China.”
He added that the decision to exit from London – Hong Kong will enable more capacity to be redeployed on to the North American destinations of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Last month Air New Zealand announced a further 5,000 return seats to its North American routes through to the end of June 2013. Releasing capacity from London – Hong Kong enables the continuation of this additional capacity.
“We are excited about our upcoming move to the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX where Air New Zealand has been contracted to design and operate a brand new and much improved Star Alliance lounge, making Los Angeles a great place to connect through to London or destinations further into Europe. We remain committed to servicing Europe via these daily Los Angeles – London services.”
Customers currently holding tickets to commence travel with Air New Zealand between London and Hong Kong from 4th March 2013 will be re-booked, in most cases on to Cathay Pacific’s services that depart within an hour of Air New Zealand’s existing service.