Air NZ's new CEO Luxon sees profit in kiwis heading to US 19 Jun 2012
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Air New Zealand's new chief executive sees profit in kiwis heading to the US as the airliner targets a $110 million lift in earnings from its long-haul services by 2015.
The airline, slated for a government selldown, named Christopher Luxon as chief executive this morning. Luxon is currently the airline’s general manager for international and will replace Rob Fyfe at the end of the year.
In February, the airline announced a series of initiatives to improve profitability after first-half earnings fell 61 percent to $98 million on higher fuel costs and a fall in international passenger numbers. It said it was looking to explore opportunities in South America, Asia and North America, while deepening its Chinese network.
"North America has experienced huge growth in the last 12-months - our projections see huge growth," Luxon said in a conference call. "It's just how we are going to access it."
"America's performance is strong - our business across the Atlantic has increased dramatically," he said. "We are constantly looking at where best we can maximise our return for the company and how we can strengthen our existing routes."
Kiwis holidaying in America rose 5.6 percent to 8,620 in March, compared with the same month a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. American's travelling to New Zealand fell 1.1 percent.
In May, Air New Zealand said it would add a third weekly flight between Auckland and Honolulu in October, increasing the total number of seats available on the route by 50 percent.
Shares in the airline rose 1.2 percent to 87.5 cents. The stock has shed 21 percent in the past year. It is rated ‘outperform’ based on the consensus of seven analyst recommendations compiled by Reuters.
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