Air New Zealand’s CEO Christopher Luxon trash talked Americans and Aussies at the carrier’s annual meeting, as reported in Airline Weekly.
The Star Alliance member airline faces a challenge selling flights to Americans, he says, because we all think New Zealand is 40 hours away by air. According to Luxon “geography’s not the strong suit for the average American.”
He isn’t wrong, although I don’t think the median American is the target market for discretionary New Zealand travel.
How’s Your Geography?
Meanwhile their long haul planes are infested with Aussies. He notes that Air New Zealand’s “first sale of our Chicago flight” which launches with three times weekly Boeing 787-9 service November 30 “was not to a New Zealander.” Instead “[i]t was from someone in Sydney.”
And so sadly, you will have to put up with 30% to 40% of Australians being onboard our planes as we go to Houston and Chicago and to Buenos Aires.
Air New Zealand in Sydney
Their CEO’s humor aside they’ll need to rely on more than outbound traffic from Auckland and Christchurch to make their long haul flights work. Fortunately New Zealand is beautiful and well worth a visit, and not inconvenient for connecting to and from Australia if they’d ever make premium cabin award seats available.