So Shane Jones has been in the news for his attacks on Air NZ management. Personally I agree with him 100% but I would be interested to know what others think. My own experiences go back several years, thus through other directors, so the problem (if any) is cultural, not just down to an individual.
When I used to take Air NZ international flights, I found the service exemplary. I imagine it still is. All those awards must come from somewhere. But the ugly truth is now emerging: Air NZ pays for its excellent international services by ripping off its domestic customers.
Is this true? I don’t know. I live in Hastings. Our regional airport is in Napier. Years ago I used to commute between Europe and New Zealand every year. Air New Zealand was the only service, but their monopoly fares from Auckland were eye-watering, so I took the bus instead. I wasn’t in a hurry.
Then Origin Pacific started competing flights. Air NZ dropped their fares to undercut Origin Pacific until it went broke, then the fares shot up again. Until recently, the one-hour flight to Auckland cost nearly as much as flying to Sydney.
Recently was when Jetstar brought in a competing service, and now we have occasional $69 flights to Wellington during the week, although Air NZ (and Jetstar) still rips us off on weekends.
In the meantime, as reported in the media, Air NZ has been closing the domestic services it has squeezed dry, leaving many regions without any service at all. Whatever happened to NAC?
I have had more than one bad experience with Air NZ and am no longer a fan (as I once was), but that is just my opinion. What do others think? Are we being ripped off by the airline that we supposedly own a majority share of? Is this the way our national carrier should behave towards its own citizens? Or is it just all about profit, and damn any sense of obligation to the taxpayers who once rescued it from bankruptcy?