AirAsia X announced (12-Mar-2012) plans to cancel four times weekly Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch service from 31-May-2012 - see Route Changes Table for more information. The decision is part of the LCC's move to realign its network to focus on core markets. CEO Azran Osman-Rani highlighted the 30% rise in fuel prices since the service's launch in Apr-2011 as a contributing factor to the decision. Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult stated the airport is "bitterly disappointed" at the cancellation however said the airport understands "the situation AirAsia X finds itself in". Mr Boult expects the tourism industry in New Zealand's South Island to feel the impact of the loss of the route. Meanwhile, Jetstar announced (12-Mar-2012) passengers booked on its domestic services within New Zealand connecting with the AirAsia X Christchurch-Kuala Lumpur service can change their bookings following the cancellation. [more - original PR - Christchurch Airport] [more - original PR - Jetstar]
AirAsia X to cancel Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch service from 31-May-2012
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Southeast Asia aviation outlook: passenger growth accelerates, led by Vietnam, Myanmar and Malaysia
Southeast Asia’s aviation market recorded healthy growth in 2016, with passenger traffic expanding faster than the global average across nearly every country in the region. Six of Southeast Asia’s 10 countries had growth in or near the double digits, led by Vietnam and Myanmar. Seven countries had growth equal to, or higher than, in 2015.
Southeast Asia should continue to experience rapid growth in 2017 and beyond. Vietnam and Myanmar will likely again lead the pack in 2017, joined by Malaysia. The Philippines should experience growth of approximately 10% for the third consecutive year, also putting it towards the top of the pack.
However, overcapacity remains a long term concern, pressuring yields and profitability. The average profit margin of the Southeast Asian airline sector significantly lagged the global average in 2016, and this trend will likely continue in 2017.
Cathay Pacific to Christchurch: contentious Air New Zealand JV as Cathay seeks greater "agility"
As Cathay Pacific is being forced to undergo a competitive metamorphosis it is exploring all options. The latest example is an expected announcement of a new Cathay Pacific route from Hong Kong to Christchurch in New Zealand's South Island. The service is expected to be seasonal (for the New Zealand summer), and is only Cathay's second seasonal long haul route after the Jan-2017 announcement of northern summer service to Barcelona.
New Zealand is a small network component for Cathay but one of its last strongholds, due to a joint venture with Air New Zealand. The New Zealand government reluctantly extended approval for the JV despite Cathay and Air NZ reneging on an offer to use it to link Hong Kong with Christchurch, as well as Auckland. This would thereby have extended the JV to benefit more of New Zealand – a sensitive local matter based on the assertion that Auckland was receiving disproportionate air service benefit.
Air NZ's JV with Cathay arch rival Singapore Airlines has resulted in SIA growing its presence in Christchurch. Cathay has been more frugal, and the NZ government determined that although the JV reduced competition, there was no prospective third competitor, so no harm done.
But now that Hong Kong Airlines has entered Auckland, and then expanded, the Cathay-Air NZ JV faces disbanding. By finally committing to a Christchurch route Cathay appears to be bidding to keep the JV in play. But the New Zealand government will still probably withdraw approval of the Air NZ-Cathay JV.