ANZ to boost presence to key South-east Asian hubs

Responding to what it sees as an Asian market comeback, Air New Zealand says it will be boosting its physical presence to the region, with its three hubs as the focal point. Grant Lilly, New Zealand's general manager - International Sales & Marketing, told that the airline saw growth from the region returning to pre-crisis levels, and the carrier would boost its services accordingly. "We will beef up Singapore as the major hub, where we will be able to link into Singapore Airlines services, to provide connections within Asia, and of course critically to Europe. "We'll look to strengthen our operations to Hong Kong, as our major hub point for North Asia. There are significant hub points for New Zealand out of North Asia. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, China. And Hong Kong is a good gateway to develop that through." No specific dates for these boosts were yet available. In contrast to reports by other industry commentators that the carrier would be halting Asian expansion due to alliance partnerships, Lilly said ANZ's were the opposite. "No, I don't think anything we're doing with Star or SQ will mean less presence in Asia in an operating sense. I think Asia's now coming back strongly. We downsized a reasonably amount of our capacity, and are now ramping that back up." Where the difference would come would be using partners like SQ to service passengers to these hubs from other Asian ports, he said.

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