Air New Zealand, a New Zealand-based airline company, has announced the withdrawal of services between Hong Kong and London Heathrow Airport in the UK.
The services will be terminated, effective from March 4, 2013. The airline has confirmed that there will be no changes to its daily London Heathrow to Auckland service, via Los Angeles, in the US.
The airline, which has conducted a comprehensive review of the Hong Kong to London service, has reported that the route has become unprofitable to operate. The termination of the service will lead to job losses for around 70 of the airline’s London-based cabin crew.
Around 8,000 customers that have bought tickets to travel between Hong Kong and London from March 4, 2012, will be booked on to other flights on the same route, mostly with Cathay Pacific, a Hong Kong based airline operator.
In another decision, the airline has entered into a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific, for the Auckland to Hong Kong route, effective from December 12, 2012. The agreement includes code sharing between the two carriers on existing Auckland and Hong Kong services, which will also provide the airline’s passengers with connections to Mainland China and beyond.
Rob Fyfe, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘The agreement will see both carriers continue to operate the same frequency between Auckland and Hong Kong while introducing code share on each other’s flights as well as opening up excellent connections between New Zealand and Mainland China.
At the same time, we wanted to strengthen our presence in Hong Kong, which is an important market and vital gateway into mainland China for Air New Zealand. In line with this we have received approval from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport to form a strategic agreement with Cathay Pacific effective from December 12, 2012.’