I have seen so many airlines come and go. Fine ideas that seemed great have resulted in so many failures.
I gave Kiwi Regional Airlines six months. I am not proud to say, I was almost right. I was out by one month. The carrier closed after nine months of flying. The decision to close was made after seven months. The good news is that their plane (yes one plane), engineers and staff are being transferred to Air Chathams. The routes are gone -again.
Sadly, so have their beautiful luggage tags.
NZ is a very tough market to operate an airline. Ansett, CityJet, Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar and Origin Pacific have all struggled over the last two decades.
As I wrote back in October, you need seven things plus luck for an airline to succeed:
- Routes with little or no direct competition
- Routes with demand
- A sound business plan
- Significant cash reserves
- Adequate correct aircraft
- International connections
- Innovative product
Kiwi Regional only had one of those ingredients: the first one, routes with little or no competition. There may have been a reason for that.
Meanwhile, Air Chathams which seem to have almost all of the above factors, continue to forge ahead.