New Zealand Scraps Singapore Service

Air New Zealand on Wednesday said it was suspending services to Singapore effective Oct. 2 due to low traffic, and also revamping some other long-haul services to compensate for soaring fuel costs. The airline also plans to scrap flights from Christchurch to Los Angeles, fly smaller Boeing 777 aircraft rather than Boeing 747-400s on flights to London, and perhaps change other Pacific flight services. For example, the number of Tahiti flights is reportedly under review. The changes will help profitably grow the airline, said Rob Fyfe, CEO, Air New Zealand, adding that northern Asia routes may offer greater growth possibilities than southeast Asia routes, which are already served well by many airlines. Air New Zealand starts services to Shanghai in November, and is routing a second flight to Britain through Hong Kong in October. Fyfe said Air New Zealand still planned to increase long-haul capacity by nine percent in the 2007 financial year, but was working to be a stronger, more nimble operator with profitable routes. He gave no word on cost savings from the changes.