New Zealand's Christchurch International Airport announced (21-May-2013) CEO Jim Boult plans to leave the company at the end of 2013 when his current contract expires. The airport expects to announce the appointment of a replacement for Mr Boult in the coming months with the new CEO to take up the role in early 2014. [more - original PR]
Christchurch Airport CEO to step down at the end of 2013
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United Airlines reduces seasonal capacity in the competitive US-New Zealand/Australia market
After rapid growth in the market between North America and Australia/New Zealand, an airline has finally blinked: United Airlines will change its sole New Zealand service, San Francisco-Auckland, to only operate seasonally. United will rely on its JV partner Air New Zealand.
Auckland is less important for United than for American Airlines and its codeshare (but not JV) partner Qantas. Qantas has exited the Auckland-Los Angeles market, so American's entry to New Zealand gives it two nonstops from both Australia and New Zealand, enhancing presence across the region and making it easier to bring American visitors to both Australia and New Zealand.
United's adjustment to a seasonal service will mean that the New Zealand-North America (excluding Hawaii) market will expand by a reduced 10% instead of 17%. Even with this downward change there will be 17% more capacity than in the previous record year of 2008.
Australia and New Zealand hit highs in 2016, but 2017 will lose a little lustre
Australia and New Zealand enter 2017 on a different level from 12 months previously. The biggest change, not just compared to 2016 but since the global financial crisis, is that Qantas is revelling in a successful turnaround. After the lows of 2011 and a domestic competitive bloodbath, the Qantas Group has seemingly become a solid and sustainable story, now looking forward to a new future marked by Boeing 787s, arriving later in 2017.
Air New Zealand has continued along its thoroughly profitable path, while Virgin Australia and its Tigerair Australia subsidiary have struggled to achieve profitability in the new environment – now with a more settled share registry and emerging strategy.
After a mineral boom that carried Australia through the difficult years of 2008-2010, the country’s GDP growth has since slipped to 1.8% in 3Q2016 calendar year, with an outlook for 3.0% for the full FY2017. By contrast, New Zealand’s Treasury expects GDP growth of 3.6% for 2016 and has forecast a 3.5% increase in 2017.