Over the past 14 months Air New Zealand has increased its focus on charter activity resulting in revenue contribution of more than $18 million, a significant increase on the previous equivalent period. Air New Zealand General Manager Airline Operations and Planning Glen Sowry said that this charter revenue has been achieved by using spare aircraft capacity and crew that was not required to operate Air New Zealands commercial schedule.
Air New Zealand typically has surplus aircraft capacity over the winter months when travel demand to and from New Zealand is lower than during our peak season.
During this period and whenever we have surplus capacity, we have an active charter operation with a wide range of customers, for example we have carried rock bands around the Pacific, we recently undertook two flights to Kuwait and the UAE carrying Australian Defence Force personnel, and just two weeks ago recovered stricken P&O cruise ship passengers from Noumea.
As recently as this past weekend, Air New Zealand operated a charter A320 flight to Wallis Island in the Pacific to carry over 9 tonnes of fresh food supplies to the remote island community when the regular shipping service was unable to operate.
Customers will typically charter aircraft where they have significant passenger volumes and it is cheaper than purchasing standard tickets on scheduled commercial services or where they have a desired departure date or time not available from a scheduled service, or they desire a non-stop service and the only available scheduled services involve stopovers.
The aircraft used for charter operations are Air New Zealand aircraft operating under Air New Zealands Air Operating Certificate and as such are subject to, and abide with, applicable NZCAA regulations.
In flying such charter operations, Air New Zealand flies standard commercial air routes and operates to and from airports that meet all the normal commercial requirements required by Air New Zealand for our standard passenger operations, said Mr Sowry.
In most cases, Air New Zealand has competed for charter contracts in open tender processes with other commercial airlines. The high success rate that Air New Zealand has had in securing and successfully operating these charters is a tribute to the depth of experience and integrity of Air New Zealands operational staff and crew, said Mr Sowry.