Examination for Air New Zealand

Ralph Norris, Air New Zealand`s new chief executive, will examine capacity problems in the South Island as part of his review of the business.

Visitor numbers have been hit by a 30% cut in Air New Zealand`s capacity on trans-Tasman routes into Christchurch International Airport after the airline reduced the number of available seats last November. Qantas has also cut capacity by 20%. Mr. Norris said he would be assessing why past decisions were made and looking at the projections.

Meanwhile the New Zealand Herald reports that the Market Surveillance Panel has given Air New Zealand a qualified clearance regarding the behaviour of Air New Zealand and the Government during the airline`s financial crisis last year. The panel however also concluded that the issues raised - including public statements on Air NZ by cabinet ministers - should be considered by the exchange to see if the rules need changing. And the airline will have to await the outcome of a wider investigation by the Securities Commission before it can feel entirely safe.

The market surveillance panel`s report, issued yesterday, notes that there was some material which Air NZ might have disclosed to the NZSE but which it either kept quiet or revealed through the media. However, it concludes that the airline “was conscious of and substantially complied with the requirements of the disclosure rules”, and accordingly it “makes no formal finding of any breach”. Notwithstanding that, the panel has underlined its view that “at least as a matter of good practice” major speeches or media statements by listed companies should be made available to the stock exchange at the same time as they are released. Chairman Bill Falconer said what happened was “not a breach but the practice could have been tighter”. Separately, Air New Zealand is considering replacing many of its 4500 PCs with Citrix “thin client” based terminals. The move follows a three-month pilot project at subsidiary Freedom Air that found cost savings of 50% in implementation and ongoing support.

Citrix thin client technology puts Windows terminals on desktops and runs the software applications on central servers. Both Air New Zealand and Freedom Air have been looking at the business suitability of the technology and say they are “actively sharing technology ideas and issues to ensure successful implementations at both airlines”. Air New Zealand has thin client systems operating for international access to New Zealand-based applications for executives working from home and for Australian-based sales representatives.


The airline`s IT infrastructure architect, Nick Smith, said 1000 PCs were immediately suitable for replacement at the airline due to their role and location. Beyond that, he said, there were about 4500 PCs across the organisation. Most were in New Zealand.