Possiblity of rolling Link into Mainline

Old Mar 30, 19, 2:40 am
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Possiblity of rolling Link into Mainline


Talk of rolling Mt Cook and Air Nelson into mainline.

An Idea is for more Turbofan into regions (I hate how they say jets into the regions. A Turboprop is a jet engine). Don't really see it as A320 really need to fly X far to be cheaper than turbo prop as more mass to get to altitude, A320s have mass to carry fuel if not going the distance carrying the mass for no reason why shorter range planes better. E.g how A330 on medium haul can compete with 787 because less mass to carry less fuel.

Talk about NEL-AKL on a A320. Not sure if NEL has scope/layout for a security area.

Kinda makes sense as the Q300s need replacing at some stage and either dump the size or get the ATR42 which would make sense to have in same company as ATR72 because of commonality for crews and maintenance. So roll regional into just Mt Cook or just bring into Mainline. Bringing into mainline will be interesting for contracts as regionals often used for cheaper contracts.
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Last edited by nzkarit; Mar 30, 19 at 5:12 am
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Old Mar 30, 19, 4:37 am
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In the future we could see the ATR 72-600s being rolled down to replace some of the Q300s flying, with say an fleet of 10x A220-100s for the regional markets.
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Old Mar 30, 19, 5:00 am
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Originally Posted by cavemanzk View Post
In the future we could see the ATR 72-600s being rolled down to replace some of the Q300s flying, with say an fleet of 10x A220-100s for the regional markets.
I personally don't see A220s in NZ, as NZ is too small to make them efficient. Would only really be worth it AKL to South Island as get a cruise. Not worth it within an island or from Wellington so really not enough routes to make them work. Really in NZ the A320/1 are too much aircraft for the length of the flights, should really be using them 120min plus, but need seats volume. And places like AKL are gate constrained.

Plus the A220s are more than 80 seats so need AvSec at regional airports, which adds more costs as well.

That said the A220s could be interesting to opening secondary markets into Aussie or offering more flights a day from WLG & CHC. Could late morning depatures from NZ like the wide bodies do from AKL or change the four sector a day pattern.
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Last edited by nzkarit; Mar 30, 19 at 5:22 am
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Old Mar 30, 19, 12:51 pm
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As to be expected from Stuff they've taken a long standing rumour (it started several years ago when many back office functions were merged between Mt Cook and Air Nelson), added some opinions that look they're written by somebody who doesn't even know the difference between an ATR and a Q300, and thrown in some comments from Brent Thomas from House of Travel who regularly makes very confusing and incorrect statements about airlines to really create a train wreck of a story.

There is absolutely zero need to mere the airlines for jet ops to regional areas. Why anybody things there is shows a complete lack of understanding in the business. The fact they talk about Queenstown "successfully converting from turbo prop to jet operations" is something that's simply a comment with no basis. There are more ATR ops into ZQN now than there have ever been, and to improve frequency you've seen a constant migration from jets to turbo props.

Nelson can't support A320 ops right now as the runway is both too narrow and too short. A quote from the Nelson Airport master plan up to 2035 sums this up -

Discussions with current airline operators have informed us that Code C jets will not be considered for many years, and potentially beyond the horizon of the Master Plan. Nevertheless, Code C jets have been considered in the Master Plan to ensure we do not restrict this eventuality, should their introduction take place earlier.
So yeah nah. Nelson won't see A320s any time soon without major airport expansion.

There is also no need for jet operations into any other regional airports with the possible exception of TRG. The growth in traffic out of there means that they'll be looking to add a 3rd early morning TRG to AKL flight in the not too distant future. There then comes a point where questions could be asked about whether it makes sense to overnight an A320 to replace 2 x ATR flights within a 60 min period with a single A320 jet service. From a pure economics view that probably doesn't stack up, but it's the only route where it would ever be close to being justified.

So will an Air Nelson / Mt Cook merger with mainline happen? Yes it probably will. It makes sense in many ways. Is it for any of the reasons in the Stuff article? Absolutely not. That's an incredibly poor piece of journalism that shows the lack of knowledge of the sector by both the journalist who wrote it, and also by Brent Thomas.
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