26 Aug 2011

Air NZ plans changes to its long haul business

6:53 am on 26 August 2011

Air New Zealand will make changes to its long haul business before the end of the year and is likely to sign new partnerships, as it attempts to tackle losses of more than $1 million a week on its international flights.

The airline on Thursday reported a 45% slump in profit before tax to $75 million.

Earthquakes in Christchurch and Japan and surging fuel prices dragged down the profit in the second half of the year, marking its worst six months in a decade.

But chief executive Rob Fyfe says he is confident of a better result next year despite turbulence in international markets.

He says a review of the long haul business could mean more alliances after the successful trans-Tasman deal with Virgin Blue.

Mr Fyfe says it means looking at every aspect of where Air New Zealand flies, the product that's deployed, the cost base it operates from, additional revenue opportunities that may exist in those markets and relationships it may be able to form with other airlines which may feed it additional passengers.

He says Air New Zealand is in the early stages of looking at those scenarios but he expects changes will be made before the end of this year.