What Occurred To New Zealand’s Freedom Air?

There are, or have been, about half a dozen airways often known as Freedom Air or Freedom Airways. Between the mid-Nineteen Nineties and late noughties, a low-cost provider based mostly in New Zealand adopted the identify. Formally often known as Freedom Air Worldwide however known as Freedom Air, the airline related New Zealand with Australia and Fiji.

Freedom Air operated as Air New Zealand’s low-cost airline for 13 years. Picture: SuperJumbo by way of Wikimedia Commons

An early entrant into Oceania’s low-cost airline market

Like many full-service legacy airways who’ve waded into the waters of low-cost flying, Freedom Air was Air New Zealand’s try and seize a slice of the low-cost pie. Like many full-service airways who dived in, Air New Zealand’s foray finally failed. Nonetheless, Freedom Air did fly for 13 years between 1995 and 2008. Air New Zealand gave it a crimson sizzling go.

Within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, the low-cost flying house in Oceania didn’t exist. There was a clutch of inefficient and pretty pricy legacy airways flying across the area – Air New Zealand, Qantas, Ansett Australia, and Air Pacific (now Fiji Airways).

Then in 1994, a New Zealand constitution airline known as Kiwi Worldwide Airways started providing cut-price fares between New Zealand and several other Queensland cities. That spurred Air New Zealand into the low-cost house. Kiwi Worldwide didn’t final lengthy. The airline’s final flight was in 1996.

There have been no such dramas at Air New Zealand. Freedom Air was arrange by the Mount Prepare dinner Group (a part of Air New Zealand) and was initially often known as South Pacific Air Charters. Freedom Air went on to fly out of six airports in New Zealand to Sydney (SYD), Melbourne (MEL), Newcastle (NTL), Gold Coast (OOL), Brisbane (BNE), and Cairns (CNS). The airline additionally operated flights to Nadi (NAN).

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Freedom Air was a pioneer in Oceania’s low-cost market.  Picture: Laurent Errara by way of Wikimedia Commons

Freedom Air feels the aggressive pinch within the noughties

Freedom Air was a pioneer in Oceania’s low-cost market. Virgin Australia, then Virgin Blue, didn’t start flying till 2000. Qantas’ Jetstar started operations in 2004. Freedom Air started flights utilizing a Boeing 757-200 leased from Britannia Airways. However the 757 didn’t keep lengthy in New Zealand.

Getting a deal with on Freedom Air’s planes is difficult. Completely different databases throw up completely different numbers, something from 12 to 30 planes through the years. Leases and loans from the dad or mum firm complicate the image. In keeping with AeroTransport Information Financial institution (ATDB.aero) knowledge, Freedom Air flew 30 planes through the years underneath its callsign. Along with the one 757-200, the plane variously included 17 Airbus A320-200s and 12 Boeing 737-300s.

With low-cost carriers Virgin Blue and Jetstar established by the mid-noughties, Freedom Air and its Air New Zealand dad or mum had been feeling the aggressive pinch. The axing of flights to NAN and NTL had been the primary indicators of give up.

freedom-air
Over 13 years, Freedom Air operated flights utilizing dozens of planes. Picture: Phillip Capper by way of Wikimedia Commons

Air New Zealand “overhauls” Freedom Air in 2007

Air New Zealand introduced it was “overhauling” its trans-Tasman and Pacific companies in a carefully titled press launch in 2007. Since beginning Freedom Air in 1995, trans-Tasman flying had turn into much more aggressive, forcing costs down throughout the board.

“We felt that in persevering with the Freedom model, we weren’t getting quite a lot of benefit or achieve from that model and that we’d be higher concentrating on one model,” a 2007 Reuters report quotes Air New Zealand’s Norm Thompson saying.

The low-cost airline shut up store in early 2008. The planes went again to their homeowners, be it Air New Zealand or the assorted lessors. Air New Zealand took over most of the routes, though Freedom Air’s demise spelled the top of worldwide flights for Palmerston North (PMR) by way of to at the present time.

Not many individuals keep in mind the New Zealand model of Freedom Air. However the airline performed a big function in introducing low-cost flying to the Oceania area and, specifically, shaking up the then cozy (and costly) trans-Tasman flying preparations.

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