Air New Zealand Postpones Non-Stop New York Flights By A Year

Air New Zealand has postponed its ambitious Auckland to New York direct flights by a year today, as…

Air New Zealand Postpones Non-Stop New York Flights By A Year

Air New Zealand has postponed its ambitious Auckland to New York direct flights by a year today, as the fallout from the aviation crisis continues to affect the airline. The carrier has also decided to delay the introduction of its Boeing 787-10 fleet, new business class cabin, and exit its fifth freedom Auckland to London via Los Angeles route early.

Air New Zealand has delayed the introduction of its New York route. Photo: Getty Images

What are the details?

Like many airlines right now, Air New Zealand is feeling the heat from the aviation crisis. The carrier has seen less than 5% of business that it would normally see going into the southern hemisphere winter and has even opted to fly what was once daily routes weekly.

But the latest news from the island-based carrier will be the most hurtful for kiwi fans, that the airline has moved to delay its introduction of its stellar Auckland to New York direct route to at least 2021. Even worse, sources inside the airline have suggested that the delays may even extend until 2022 when the market recovers.

Auckland Air New Zealand
Auckland to New York direct. Photo: Google Maps

“It’s deeply disappointing to be in this position, our people have worked tenaciously over the years to build these markets and excitement was growing for our non-stop New York flight.” Nick Judd, Air New Zealand’s Chief Networks, Strategy and Alliances Officer said to Executive Traveler.

“However, the effects of COVID-19 continue to bite; we expect most countries to take a cautious approach to international travel in the next year and we have to be pragmatic.”

The route would connect the two cities over a distance of 14,200km and would be flown by an especially premium heavy configured Boeing 787-9 (very much like direct Singapore to New York flight operated by Singapore Airlines).

Delayed introduction of new aircraft and business class

With a desire to reduce spending over the next year, Air New Zealand has postponed the introduction of its new Boeing 787-10 aircraft until after 2022. These aircraft are slated to take over from the airlines aging Boeing 777s.

But with the borders closed, it is unknown of these Boeing 777s will even take flight again for passenger service until the 787-10s are delivered. What was supposed to a plan for the far future has seen the type possible retired much earlier.

In addition, the Boeing 787-10s and Boeing 777s were planned to carry a new business class. With both aircraft out of the picture for the next year, the new cabin has also been delayed.

Air New Zealand 777
Air New Zealand may retire its Boeing 777 fleet early. Photo: Getty Images

Scrapping fifth freedom flight

Air New Zealand has also decided to call it quits on its fifth freedom flight to London via Los Angeles several months ahead of schedule. The plan was originally to finish the route in October (around the same time as the launch of the New York route). Due to the aviation crisis, the carrier doesn’t see demand returning before that deadline.

“Government travel restrictions will continue for some time and demand for our Los Angeles-London service is unlikely to recover before our planned exit in October” continued Rudd to Executive Traveler. 

What do you think of this? Will you fly on the new service from New York to Auckland? Let us know in the comments.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Ethiopian Airlines Flies Huge Boeing 777 To Tiny Bosnian Town

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777 landed in Banja Luka in Bosnia Herzegovina last week, on 15th April. This…

Ethiopian Airlines Flies Huge Boeing 777 To Tiny Bosnian Town

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 777 landed in Banja Luka in Bosnia Herzegovina last week, on 15th April. This was a cargo flight, arriving from Addis Ababa where it had arrived the previous day from Guangzhou. Banja Luka isn’t a typical destination for the airline. So what was Ethiopian doing at this airport?

An Ethiopian Boeing 777F flew to Banja Luka Airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina last week. Photo: Bob Adams via Flickr

Why is Ethiopian in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

RTS reports that this Ethiopian Boeing 777 brought 200 ventilators to Banja Luka as part of an effort to triple the available medical equipment in Republika Srpska, an entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The cargo flight is one of many unusual sightings around the world, resulting from restrictions imposed to combat COVID-19. Ethiopian was carrying equipment purchased by Republika Srpska for its health service. The operation was planned for a whole month before the flight took off: Republika Srpska was awaiting the necessary “support” from Chinese delivery services.

RTRS vijesti, the TV network of Republika Srpska, posted photos of the aircraft on its Facebook page.

U Banjaluku sletio avion sa opremom iz Kine. #RTRS #RTRSvijesti

Publisert av RTRS vijesti Onsdag 15. april 2020

An unusual sighting in Banja Luka

The landing of this Boeing 777 in Banja Luka is highly unusual. Prior to the suspension of passenger services, Banja Luka Airport (BNX) was served by only two airlines: Ryanair and Air Serbia.

Even then, Ryanair only launched its first service to Banja Luka in October 2018. The arrival of Ryanair has made the airport considerable busier. In fact, Banja Luka Airport saw more than 100,000 passengers last year for the first time in its history.

Air Serbia serves the town with an ATR-72. Connectivity out of Banja Luka is limited, but the airport’s catchment area is wide. Thus, Air Serbia flies there six times weekly to connect it to its hub in Belgrade and feed its ever-growing network.

Ethiopian Airlines is now relying on Cargo

Ethiopian Airlines was hit hard by the current slump in demand for air travel. Several weeks ago, the airline’s CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam, revealed that Ethiopian suffered $550 million in losses between January and March. However, he also said that he remains confident the airline will remain flying.

In March, Ethiopian Airlines transported 45,848 tons of cargo to different parts of the world, deploying both its freighters and passenger fleet. The focus on cargo flights will enable Ethiopian to survive until July.

Thus, it is not surprising that Republika Srpska has managed to organize the delivery of its purchased medical supplies to Banja Luka Airport with Ethiopian, even though the equipment came from China.

Ethiopian coronavirus
Ethiopian has stopped flying to 30 destinations just this week. Photo: Getty Images

Unlike larger European airports that serve airlines with wide networks, small airports like Banja Luka have very limited networks. Therefore, the COVID-19 crisis has brought far more “exotic” sightings to these small facilities.

For example, in neighboring Croatia, Zagreb Airport saw a Croatia Airlines flight to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Air Serbia operated passenger flights from Belgrade to Los Angeles and Washington, but also numerous cargo rotations to China.

Where do you think we’ll see an Ethiopian Airlines freighter next? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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