Pacific Blue Airlines considering operating jet services

Pacific Blue Airlines

In order to break Air New Zealand’s monopoly in the sector, Christchurch-based Pacific Blue Airlines is mulling operating jet services on New Zealand regional routes.

In the past few months the carrier has been in negotiations with regional airport management as well as Hamilton, Palmerston North and Rotorua about a second-tier schedule.

Today a three-day tour of regional airports was commenced by Pacific Blue with the Brazilian-built 104-seat Embraer 190 E-Jet it would use on the services. The aircraft was expected to be in Auckland late today.

For the past 18 months Pacific Blue has operated 180-seat Boeing 737-800s on New Zealand domestic trunk routes and commercial general manager Adrian Hamilton-Manns told other “tempting opportunities” existed in the market.

Mr. Hamilton-Manns said that for the past two years the Embraer has flown with Virgin Blue on Australian domestic services and could also be ideal for New Zealand domestic operations.
He added, “Our entry to the New Zealand market has brought real competition and driven the cost of travel down. But regional domestic fares remain uncompetitive – there is only one player in the market.”

The Embraer has got a two-by-two configuration with leather seats.