Ansett New Zealand
|Destinations||Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Whakatane, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Dunedin and Invercargill. As of late 1990s|
Ansett New Zealand was a wholly owned airline subsidiary of Ansett Australia, serving the New Zealand domestic market between 1987 and 2000. In order to comply with regulatory requirements relating to the acquisition of Ansett Australia by Air New Zealand, Ansett New Zealand was sold to News Corporation and later to Tasman Pacific Airlines of New Zealand in 2000, operating as a Qantas franchise under the Qantas New Zealand brand. It went into receivership and subsequently liquidation in 2001.
Ansett New Zealand was the result of Ansett Australia's desire to expand into the New Zealand market, enabled by the relaxation of regulation in the aviation sector by the fourth Labour government. Ansett Australia formed a partnership with two New Zealand companies, Brierley Investments and Newmans, the latter being a tourism company which owned the unprofitable Newmans Air. Newmans Air formed the basis for a new expanded airline, the company being Bilmans Management Ltd, operating as Ansett New Zealand. Half its shares (the maximum allowed for a foreign company) were owned by Ansett Australia, with Brierley holding 27.5% and Newmans holding 22.5%. Subsequently, regulations were relaxed still further, and Ansett Australia took full ownership.
Operations started in 1987 with 3 Boeing 737-100 aircraft between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The ex Newmans Air Dash-7s were used on tourist routes Between Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Mount Cook and Queenstown. The old and noisy Boeing 737 aircraft were replaced with new and quieter BAE-146 known as "Whisper Jets". Routes were extended to Dunedin and Invercargill. Also the old Dash-7s were replaced with the much more fuel efficient Dash-8. By the year 2000 the fleet had risen to 8 Bae-146s (1 a quick change version to convert to freighter operations) and 5 Dash-8s.
In 1996, Air New Zealand made a bid to purchase half of Ansett Australia, after an open skies agreement for the former to fly within Australia was abruptly withdrawn. Anti-monopoly regulators did not want Air New Zealand to gain control of Ansett's operations in New Zealand, however, and it was therefore required that the two Ansett airlines would be separated. Ansett Australia would be owned by Air New Zealand and (until it was bought out) Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, while Ansett New Zealand would be owned by News Corporation exclusively.
In 2000, News Corporation sold Ansett New Zealand to a company called Tasman Pacific Airlines, formed by a group of New Zealand investors. Shortly afterwards, the company became a franchise of Qantas, operating under the Qantas New Zealand brand. The following year, however, the airline went into liquidation. (Qantas's later involvement in the New Zealand domestic market was unrelated and not through a franchise agreement).
- 12 BAe-146; including 2 -200, 1 200QC, 6 300, and 3 -300A
- 2 Dash 7 (inherited from Newmans Air)
- 9 Bombardier Dash 8; including 7 -102 and 2 -311
- 5 Boeing 737-130
- 5 Embraer EMB-110 Bandeirante (operated by Rex Aviation as traNZair and later Ansett regional scheduled services, ended by 1999 and replaced by Jetstream)
- 5 BAe Jetstream 32EP (operated by Rex Aviation and Air National as Ansett regional)
Ansett New Zealand Flight 703 was an Ansett New Zealand scheduled passenger transport flight from Auckland Airport to Palmerston North. On 9 June 1995, the Dash 8 aircraft flying this route crashed west of the Tararua Ranges and 16 km east of Palmerston North airport, during an instrument approach in bad weather. The aircraft was carrying 18 passengers and three crew members. All passengers were New Zealand citizens except for a single United States citizen. The flight attendant and three passengers died as a result of the crash.
Ansett New Zealand did an aggressive marketing campaign on New Zealand television to show how their quality of service compared with their competitors. One of their favorite commercials featured yachtsmen Dennis Conner and Chris Dickson. Conner got a sandwich in a plastic box while Dickson got a proper meal on china. When Conner asked: "How come you got a hot meal?", Dickson replied: "I'm flying Ansett".
- Don't knock Air New Zealand - the Press, 5 September 2007
- Qantas: Recent Developments and Preliminary Monthly Traffic and Capacity Statistics, May 2000 (PDF)
- New Zealand Aviation News, Vol XXIV No 4, May 2001
- Ansett Australia (Archive)