New Zealand Ministry of Transport GM aviation and maritime Bruce Johnson, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, stated (07-Aug-2013) New Zealand has agreed to 12 air services agreements in the last 18 months alone, and is pursuing a policy of open skies wherever agreements can be made. Mr Johnson said: "We're focused in terms of policy on open skies," but added that for New Zealand "focus needs to be growing demand."
New Zealand MoT: 'We're focused in terms of policy on open skies'
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Challenges to airline liberalisation. Mindset changes needed: CAPA Americas Summit (VIDEO)
Tentative approval was finally granted by the Us DoT for Norwegian Air International to introduce long haul, low cost service from Europe to the US. Even though the opponents have successfully lobbied legislators to introduce prohibiting legislation, this was a milestone in the contentious debate about open skies agreements, as well as the intricacies of labour law and foreign ownership requirements. There was a lively debate on this topic at CAPA's Americas Aviation Summit, under the guidance of CNN anchor, Richard Quest.
However, in the larger scheme of liberalisation Norwegian’s victory is a small step in what appears to be a long journey for a mindset change: to create new paradigms in the rapidly changing global aviation industry. In the US aviation landscape the easing of foreign ownership restrictions remains a non-starter, which means that joint ventures will continue to serve as stand-ins for cross-border ownership. As the status quo remains, and members of large global alliances holding anti-trust immunity dominate markets such as the trans-Atlantic, Norwegian’s ability to inject low cost competition is welcome, and a logical development.
Air New Zealand FY2016: record profits. Growing competition means it is time to move upmarket
For an airline that is not large, Air New Zealand has been remarkably successful, now, notably in FY2016. It has selectively established helpful partnerships and, elsewhere, largely remained under the radar. It has excelled at marketing, and at market positioning.
But its home country is no longer the secret – or as inaccessible as – it used to be. That is a growing challenge for Air New Zealand, which for years has quietly and effectively exploited the limited competition. Two new entrants to Auckland in the North American market, and more nonstop capacity from North America to Australia – a 6th freedom staple for Air NZ, will elevate the threats. In the peak summer Chinese airlines will have one third as much capacity into New Zealand as Air NZ has long haul capacity to the world. The New Zealand government has considered granting fifth freedom rights for unserved routes. Domestically, Jetstar is challenging Air NZ on select regional routes.