25 Jan 2012

Air NZ to reduce London flights

12:06 pm on 25 January 2012

Air New Zealand says it won't pull out of the London market, but it will have to reduce the number of weekly flights.

Radio New Zealand's business editor says the airline is in the final stages of reviewing its loss-making international business, to tackle falling patronage and higher fuel costs.

Last year, Air New Zealand admitted it lost more than $1 million per week on flights outside the Pacific.

In a message to staff, chief executive Rob Fyfe says it's no secret the airline is struggling to make long-haul London routes profitable.

But Mr Fyfe said Air NZ it has no intention of pulling out of London, nor any other market it services.

He said the airline will need to change its flight schedule to reflect weaker passenger demand, and this week, it cut its London to Hong Kong route from seven to five days a week.

Last year Qantas reduced capacity to Europe. Budget airline Air Asia X also recently said it's withdrawing flights to Europe and India because of high fuel prices and weak demand.