Battle for Trans-Tasman airline increases

AirlinesWith competition increasing on Perth and Adelaide routes, a new front in the transtasman airline battle is opening up over summer.

Air New Zealand has had the Adelaide and Perth routes to itself for years even though the battle for passengers on services to the main eastern seaboard cities has been playing for ages. Air New Zealand is adding extra services to Perth, and opening a seasonal service from Christchurch.

During the holiday season, Qantas will operate a tri-weekly A330 service, increasing almost 1000 seats per week over Christmas and the summer holiday period between Auckland and Perth. Flights which started on Friday will continue until February 1.

The airline mentions that the majority of customers booked on the services are either from Perth or Auckland, and remaining bookings include traffic from Dubai and Doha to Perth and further to Auckland as part of the Qantas partnership with Emirates.

Qantas had warned that its profit was plummeting this year and appealed to the Australian government for help to battle off competitors. However it says that speculation which said, its services to New Zealand could be affected is off the mark and it remains "business as usual".

Simon Hickey, chief executive of Qantas International said ,demand for the direct Perth services had exceeded expectations, and it was receiving a mix of customers booking including those connecting from the Middle East.