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SIA alliance could launch Air NZ to South America

February 13, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Air New Zealand’s regional profile is set to soar if its alliance with Singapore Airlines gets regulatory approval. Auckland could become an Asia connection hub and the deal could open the way for Air New Zealand to fly to South America.

Analysts at Australia’s Capa Centre for Aviation say Air New Zealand is reviewing options for covering Latin America, the New Zealand Herald reports. PTM_250-x-250

Tourism New Zealand is keen on capitalising on the inbound tourism potential of Latin America and an Air NZ spokesman has told the NZ Herald that South America, currently a blank on Air NZ route maps, is an area that Air NZ is interested in exploring.

Financial viability would be the obvious criterion for determining whether an expansion into South America is viable.

Argentine flag carrier Aerolineas Argentinas is withdrawing from its Buenos Aires/Sydney route, according to the Capa report, leaving OneWorld partners Qantas and Chilean airline LAN as the only carriers left flying between Australasia and South America. That could leave an opening for Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand’s proposed alliance with Singapore Airlines could prove critical, helping feed Asian traffic through Auckland on South America routes that otherwise might not be economically feasible without that feeder traffic.

The NZ Herald said Air New Zealand has been mulling over South America for several years but the economics are challenging.

Latin America has been identified as an emerging market that offers New Zealand tourism growth potential. In the 2013/14 Budget the NZ Government allocated an extra NZD 123 million in funding for Tourism New Zealand over four years. Of this, NZD 44.5 million is earmarked for attracting visitors from emerging growth markets – Latin America being one of them.

Written by : Peter Needham

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