09 August 2015

Origin Pacific Airways - The airline for our times

With Originair due to take to the skies this week, for the airline profile this month we look back to Origin Pacific Airways




In 1982 Robert Inglis and Nicki Smith formed Air Nelson and this airline, along with Eagle Air, were identified by Air New Zealand as suitable carriers to take over some of their provincial services. Air New Zealand bought 50% of Air Nelson in 1988 and the remainder of Robert and Nicki’s shares in December 1995. One of the conditions of the buy-out was that Robert was not permitted to operate a scheduled airline in New Zealand for two years.

In late July 1997 Inglis Aircraft Company launched Origin Pacific Airways, a New Zealand-wide business and leisure charter airline. Heading the operation were major shareholders Robert Inglis, the Managing Director and Nicki Smith, an Executive Director. Other key personnel, some being minority shareholders, included Dale Webb, the General Manager Airline Operations, Noel Gillespie the General Manager Commercial, and Chief Pilot Alan Graham.  Origin Pacific established its base in Nelson with an initial fleet of four British Aerospace Jetstream 31s where were purchased from the sales and leasing company, British Aerospace Asset Management.


While the company announced as early as August 1997 that they intended to operate a regular service to Ashburton the initial, main focus of the company was the general charter market and personalised tours. To that end one Jetstream, ZK-JSX, was configured as a 10-seat corporate aircraft while the other three Jetstreams, ZK-JSA, JSH and JSI were configured as 18-seat commuter aircraft that were available for charter by sports teams, corporate and tourist groups. The Jetstream 31 is a rather squat aircraft and passengers were seated in the commuter aircraft with a 2-1 seating configuration with each aircraft equipped with a toilet. To accommodate luggage there was a baggage compartment at the rear of the cabin and all four Jetstream 31s were equipped with an underbelly pod which gave a total baggage capacity of 480 kg. The company built a large hangar and terminal at Nelson airport which was opened by Robert Inglis and Murray McCully, the Minister of Tourism, on the 19th of March 1998. Part 135 certification for airline operations, together with the operation's certificate, were issued in June 1997. A 50% share in Nelson Aero Maintenance was purchased and this company was upgraded to Part 145 certification trading as Horizon Air Support. The remaining 50% of the company was later purchased.


The corporate configured BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSX arriving into Hokitika on 31 December 1997




The company’s first airline work began on the 10th of November 1997 when Origin Pacific was contracted to operate Associated Airlines’ Paraparaumu to Auckland service with their Jetstreams. There had been a long connection between the two companies. The Paraparaumu-Auckland service operated until May 1998 but the relationship with Associated Airlines continued. In April 1999 Associated’s Cessna 421, ZK-DCN, went to Origin Pacific with Associated’s principals, Russell and Keith Jenkins, taking up commands with Origin Pacific.


Cessna 421 Golden Eagle ZK-DCN waiting for its passengers on a gloomy Wellington 14 September 2000

By early 1998, with the two year moratorium of being able to operate scheduled services over, Origin Pacific launched a trial of regular off-peak scheduled services between Auckland and Wellington on the 8th of April 1998. This enabled more usage of the aircraft operating Associated Airlines' morning Paraparaumu to Auckland and return evening service. A second service followed later in April with Friday and Sunday services between Nelson and Palmerston North. With Associated Airlines ending their Paraparaumu to Auckland flights Origin Pacific started peak-time scheduled services between Auckland and Wellington on the 9th of June 1998. To entice people to fly on their Jetstreams instead of Ansett's BAe 146 Whisper Jets and Air New Zealand's Boeing 737s Origin Pacific cut their fares on these main trunk flights to less than half the normal fares charged by Air New Zealand and Ansett New Zealand.   

Advertising the first scheduled service starting on 8 April 1998 - NZ Herald 4 April 1998

From the 29th of June 1998 daily flights were offered on the Nelson-Palmerston North service while new direct services were also offered from Christchurch to both Wellington and Palmerston North. The rapid expansion was not sustained, especially on the Auckland-Wellington-Christchurch main trunk route where Origin was competing with both Ansett NZ and Air New Zealand. From the 1st of September 1998 frequencies were reduced across the network. With the company moving from charter and corporate work to more scheduled services as their core business the corporate Jetstream ZK-JSX was exported in December 1998.

Nelson-Palmerston North services starting 24 April 1998
Origin Pacific timetable effective 1 August 1998


NZ Herald, 17 June 1998

Regional expansion started in earnest in 1999. Nelson was included in the scheduled service network from January 1999 with flights to both Wellington and Christchurch. Daily services between Auckland and both Palmerston North and Nelson were introduced in the first quarter of 1999. Further growth was facilitated by Origin Pacific entering a strategic alliance with Auckland-based Airwork NZ Ltd from the 31st of May 1999. This enabled Origin to utilise Airwork’s Fairchild Metroliner 23 aircraft, ZK-POE and POF and their Fairchild Metroliner IIIs, ZK-NSS, PAA, POA and POB. These aircraft were primarily used at night on NZ Post mail flights with ZK-PAA being mainly used as an air ambulance. All the Airwork aircraft were used at some point on Origin Pacific’s daytime passenger services. The upshot of these agreements was that Origin had access to the five Metroliners not being used as the air ambulance. The additional aircraft were used to expand the network with Wellington-Napier-Auckland services commencing on the 31st of May 1999 while Nelson-New Plymouth-Hamilton flights began on the 14th of June 1999. As the regional network expanded direct flights between Auckland and Wellington were reduced with all services between the two centres ceasing by the end of 1999.


It looks like BAe Jetstream ZK-JSI is carrying a full load out of Nelson on 25 June 1999
Leased from Airwork NZ Ltd, Fairchild Metroliner 23 ZK-POF taxis at New Plymouth on 18 October 1999

In August 1999 Robert Inglis told the National Business Review, "We believe there's room for an independent third domestic passenger airline offering value in New Zealand. We're proving it every day. But we've always said we would grow only if these were sensible opportunities rather than simply for growth's sake - our strategy is growth by demand and that's the most sensible way to go. It's no secret that some scale is required and we now have quite a significant network Including the three major centres, Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, and five key regional ports which give us opportunities for interline traffic within our own network. Our next step is to consolidate where we are. We are flying significant capacity and loadings are good but we won't apply extra capacity without the demand - how far we go depends on how well we meet customer requirements."




From October 1999 Origin's New Plymouth-Hamilton connection was replaced with flights from New Plymouth to Wellington and Auckland while Hamilton received direct flights to Nelson with onward connections to Christchurch. Auckland-Hamilton flights were also introduced. Further expansion occurred after the collapse of CityJet in late 1999. Origin Pacific picked up not only a fair portion of their passengers but also CityJet's freight contracts including the major DHL contract. The Metroliner was a much more suitable aircraft for the freight flights but their move to freight necessitated more passenger capacity and so an additional Jetstream 31 was leased from Australia. ZK-OSW was registered to Origin Pacific in December 1999.


Leased Jetstream 31 ZK-OSW taxis out at Wellington on 7 February 2001

The year 2000 saw more expansion of the network. Thrice weekly services were introduced between Christchurch and Dunedin from the 25th of January 2000 while Tauranga was linked to Auckland and Palmerston North-Nelson from the 17th of March 2000 with four flights a week. At this time Origin Pacific were expanding rapidly as they sought to find a market share and to keep their aircraft busy throughout all the day. This is reflected in a Bay of Plenty Times article about the new Tauranga service. Robert Inglis told the Times, “We are not pretending we have a schedule that will meet everyone’s needs. We are starting with a modest schedule and an extension will depend on the public acceptance of a second operator. We have capability to increase the level of service. I'm sure the customers will appreciate a choice in a destination as large as Tauranga that has had only one operator."




From the 16th of June 2000 Origin ended its alliance with Airwork and entered into a new arrangement with Air Chathams, though it continued to use Airwork aircraft at various times over subsequent years. Origin leased two Fairchild Metro 23s, ZK-JSJ and JSV, from Air Chathams to handle the growing demand for freight and passenger flights. The company contracted Air Chathams to operate and crew these aircraft on Origin’s passenger and freight services. Origin also used Air Chatham's Fairchild Metroliner III ZK-CIC. All three Metros flew freight at night and passengers during the day and at one stage the aircraft were averaging 12 flying hours a day! Dunedin was quietly dropped from the network in the latter part of 2000.


On freighter duty, Fairchild Metroliner III ZK-CIC lines up on Runway 29 at Christchurch on  16 January 2000
Fairchild Metroliner 23 ZK-JSJ pulls into the gate at Christchurch on 21 June 2001

Origin Pacific’s next major opportunity came after Australia’s Qantas Airways entered into the New Zealand aviation market in April 2001 following the grounding of Qantas New Zealand. Qantas had quietly been encouraging Origin to expand its regional services in the event that if it entered the main trunk market with Boeing aircraft, it would then have in place a regional feed partner. The two airlines saw many mutual benefits in each other’s operations and on the 12th of May 2001 it was announced that Origin Pacific would enter a codeshare arrangement with Qantas Airways. Origin began flying the Rotorua-Christchurch and Christchurch-Wellington services on the 23rd of July 2001 using two leased 50-seat Bombardier DHC-8-311 turboprop aircraft, ZK-NEQ and NER. Origin’s services had a Qantas flight number and flight code. Later, in October 2001, Origin Pacific expanded their contract arrangement with Qantas and began operating twice daily return services between Christchurch and Queenstown. While the flights to Rotorua and Queenstown appeared on Origin's route maps they did not appear in Origin’s timetables.


An Origin/Qantas codeshare boarding pass




A 50-seat Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NEQ, pulls onto the gate at Christchurch on 10 September 2001
One of the later, smaller 40-seat De Havilland Canada Dash-8-102s, ZK-NES, at Christchurch on  1 April 2003

On Christmas Day 2001 Origin Pacific Airways introduced 29 seat British Aerospace Jetstream 41s to its fleet. The first flight was operated in ZK-JSE from Nelson to Wellington (Origin 3410). The company was to operate five Jetstream 41s, ZK-JSE, JSK, JSM, JSN and JSO. These aircraft had much more passenger appeal than the smaller Jestream 31s. They flew with a stewardess and while somewhat noisy they were fast and quite popular with passengers.


The first BAe Jetstream 41, ZK-JSE, at Christchurch on 20 January 2002. Note the unique Origin titles
Meanwhile Bombardier DHC-8-311 ZK-NER was withdrawn from Origin service on the 27th of January 2002. This was replaced with two Dash 8s, ZK-NET and NEU, entering the fleet in early 2002.

As the Jetstream 41s entered the fleet Origin Pacific extended it services. It returned to Dunedin from the 18th of March 2002 with three and later four weekday flights being offered. Thrice daily weekday flights from Wellington to Hamilton started from the 8th of April. Palmerston North to Christchurch flights began from the 5th of May 2002 and at the same time frequencies between Auckland and Palmerston North were extended. A number of these flights were also part of the Qantas codeshare agreement carrying both both QO (Origin) code and QF (Qantas) flight numbers. 


NZ Herald, 22 September 2001

Further fleet changes were announced in June 2002 with the airline announcing it would add two 64-seat ATR-72 aircraft to its fleet for its flights from Christchurch to Queenstown, Wellington and Rotorua. The first of these leased aircraft, ZK-JSZ, entered service on the 3rd of August 2002 when it flew a Christchurch-Rotorua return service (Origin 3310/3210) while later in the month Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEQ was withdrawn from Origin Pacific service and exported. The second ATR-72, ZK-JSY, entered service in September 2002. In the same month another Dash 8, ZK-NES, entered the fleet while the lease on Dash 8 ZK-NEU was terminated. Between September and December 2002 Origin Pacific added three leased British Aerospace Jetstream 32s to their fleet. These had been previously operated by Tasman Pacific Connection and they were re-registered as ZK-JSQ, JSR and ZK-JSU. Their lease enabled the three Metro aircraft to operate dedicated freight services on behalf of DHL.


ATR-72 ZK-JSY departs Christchurch on 14 April 2003. The ATRs were used to fly from Christchurch to Rotorua, Wellington and Queenstown
British Aerospace Jetstream 32 ZK-JSU about to roll at Nelson on 3 November 2003

The additional aircraft also enabled the introduction of new routes. From the 30th of September 2002 Invercargill received twice daily weekday Jetstream 41 flights from Christchurch while Blenheim received thrice daily weekday Jetstream 31/32 flights from Wellington. At the same time Tauranga, whose flights had been greatly reduced over previous months, received a change of schedule. Twice daily weekday flights operated from Tauranga to Hamilton where they connected with Origin’s services to Wellington. A variety of Cessna and Piper aircraft were used on this sector. These were largely operated by Sunair though Air National’s Embraer 820 ZK-RDT, VIP Air Charter’s Piper Chieftain ZK-VIP and the Ashton Group’s Piper Panther ZK-LTD were also used at times. A number of these aircraft had previously operated other Origin Pacific services out of Auckland and Tauranga. Services between New Plymouth and Wellington using Jetstream 31/32 aircraft were reintroduced on the 4th of November 2002.




While 2002 was a year of expansion 2003 was a year of rationalisation. The three leased de Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash 8 aircraft were withdrawn from service during the middle of 2003. Fairchild-Swearingen SA227DC Metro 23 ZK-JSJ which was used on the airline's freight services was also withdrawn from service in the same month.


Origin Pacific timetable, effective 22 April 2002

On 13th of October 2003 Origin Pacific announced a new direct service between Hamilton and Christchurch was to be introduced, the first time the two centres had been connected by a direct flight. However, before they commenced the service Air New Zealand announced its intention to operate the same route. Robert Inglis lamented to the NZ Herald that the new Air New Zealand flights would not only be daily, but leave at exactly the same time as the planned Origin flight with a larger, 66-seat, aircraft - more than twice the size of the Origin plane. "Is it a coincidence?" he asked. "Only if you believe in flying pigs! Origin Pacific has therefore, reluctantly, concluded that this service cannot survive while being dumped on by the national carrier at exactly the same times and days, and will have to be withdrawn before it starts." The company made a complaint of predatory behaviour by the national carrier to the Commerce Commission.





While the Hamilton-Christchurch service never got off the ground services between Taupo-Wellington commenced on the 23rd of October 2003. Jetstream and Metroliner aircraft were used for the four weekly flights.

Origin Pacific experienced a real blow in 2004 when Qantas announced its intention to end its code-share arrangement with the company from the 31st of March that year. Origin’s sales and marketing general manager Ewan Wilson was reported as saying, "Origin Pacific Airways entered into a relationship with Qantas under a long-term relationship basis. After a few months, unfortunately, Qantas fell in lust with the girl next door in the form of Air New Zealand, and that has made things a little bit difficult. Air New Zealand and Qantas were now 'determined to get together', which Origin found disappointing.” 

Origin's response to the loss of the Qantas connection was two fold. It first sought to develop relationships with international airlines operating to New Zealand. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, P&O Cruises, Air Tahiti Nui and Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Garuda and Aerolineas Argentinas all signed up with Origin Pacific to provide add-on domestic fares for their passengers. It also announced the development of its own services from April 2004. Origin’s plans included twice daily services between Christchurch and Queenstown, six flights a day from Auckland to Wellington using the ATR-72s, new weekday services from Auckland to Napier, an increased schedule from Auckland to Palmerston North and aircraft capacity upgrade to the Jetstream 41s on Hamilton services. 



6 flights a day Auckland to Wellington... stimulating traffic after the loss of the Qantas codeshare


Fly free on Origin with your P & O cruise...


By late April, however, the NZ Herald reported that Origin Pacific, which at this time employed 450 staff, appeared “to be buckling under the pressure of New Zealand's viciously competitive air wars. The fiercely independent airline, which has already complained to the Commerce Commission about alleged anti-competitive behaviour by Air New Zealand, admitted yesterday it was now considering ways of cutting costs. Origin held meetings with its staff in Christchurch, Nelson, Wellington and Auckland yesterday afternoon and gave notice redundancies were a likely outcome of a revised winter flight schedule.” Origin had experienced a 40 per cent loss in revenue and Robert Inglis was reported as saying that “cost-cutting would take one 64-seat aircraft out of use, and significantly reduce flight schedules for three other 29-seaters.”





By the end of the month mounting difficulties forced the company to seek a deal with creditors to save the company from receivership. The plan saw a five-year recovery plan that would result in the carrier's main unsecured creditors receiving only 40% of the $11.4 million owed to them over the five-years while those owed under $10,000 would be paid in full. At that time the company owed about $11.8 million to unsecured creditors. Origin enjoyed a lot of creditor support and by the end of the month a rescue deal was in place. As part of the restructuring 93 staff were made redundant. The new schedule saw the airline withdraw from Rotorua, Taupo and Queenstown and the second ATR-72 withdrawn from service. Origin’s recovery was helped by mortgage magnate Mike Pero taking a 25 per cent share of Origin Pacific along with a group of Wellington investors who also injected equity capital into the company taking another 25% stake. With Air New Zealand adding additional capacity to Invercargill Origin Pacific withdrew its services to the southern city from the 10th of August 2004 while Auckland to Wellington services ended on the 23rd of August. With the withdrawal of the ATRs Origin chartered Air Chathams’ Convair 580 ZK-KSA when the company had need for a larger aircraft than their Jetstream 41s.

The 2004-2005 summer schedule saw modest increases in services. The number of flights in and out of Nelson to Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton, Palmerston North and New Plymouth were increased as was the frequency between Christchurch and Wellington. A new direct Blenheim to Palmerston North service was also introduced from the 1st of October 2004.




2005 started with another cutback with Origin withdrawing from Dunedin on the 12th of January 2005.  By the end of June Mike Pero had resigned from the board and stood aside from marketing responsibilities and the company was reported as seeking up to $3 million in capital. On the 24th of November 2004 a new Jetstream 31/32 service was introduced between Wanganui and Nelson with connections at Nelson to and from Christchurch. From the 23rd of January 2006 Wanganui to Auckland services were added. The year started optimistically with the airline expecting to return a profit in the year to June 2006. "In every aspect of our business, things are continuing to improve," Robert Inglis said.

More cuts in services followed in May 2006. Auckland to Wanganui flights ceased, while flights from New Plymouth to Auckland and Blenheim to Palmerston North were reduced to operate only on peak days. The airline's managing director Robert Inglis said the changes were the result of lower demand in winter, although high fuel costs, a slowing economy and competition also played a part. As leases expired the aircraft were removed from the fleet as the airline sought to focus on the profitable routes.


Origin Pacific's last expansion started on the 28th of June 2006 with direct weekday Tauranga to Christchurch services using Jetstream 41s. This service, which received financial assistance from Tauranga interests, seemed to be particularly promising. By this stage Origin Pacific's air freight business had grown to the point where freight revenue had passed passenger revenue. The airline was facing fierce competition from Air New Zealand. In April 2006 Air New Zealand began new services on two of Origin Pacific routes, from Nelson to Hamilton and Nelson to Palmerston North. Again Origin went to the Commerce Commission complaining also about Air New Zealand’s pricing on the Wellington-Blenheim, Auckland-Nelson and Nelson-Christchurch routes.

In July 2006 the Jetstream 41 aircraft were grounded being required to comply with a world-wide airworthiness directive in regards to the propellers used on the type.  The only New Zealand facility where this inspection could be carried out was at Safe Air.  The Safe Air staff were working to rule and the propellers couldn’t be inspected forcing this fleet to be temporarily grounded and being the core of the airlines passenger operations this was a massive and terminal blow to the airline.


A beautiful Nelson, summer day on 15 February 2005 when I was able to catch a number of the Origin Pacific aircraft types...
Above, BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH... it is now with Originair 
BAe Jetstream 41 ZK-JSK
BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-JSQ
Fairchild Metroliner 23 ZK-JSV

By the beginning of August 2006 Origin Pacific was urgently trying to raise millions of dollars to stave off creditors. At this stage Origin was reliant on its profitable freight operation to maintain cashflow for its struggling passenger services. Sadly on the 10th of August 2006 the company’s website announced “Origin Pacific regrets to advise that its scheduled passenger service operation has been suspended.  Arrangements have been made for passengers with forward bookings on Origin Pacific to travel on Air New Zealand. Passengers are advised to see Air New Zealand Check-in staff at their airport of departure or call 0800 737 000. Origin Pacific's airfreight operation continues and airfreight customers that have any questions or concerns should contact Origin Pacific's airfreight manager. We regret that Origin Pacific has had to terminate the jobs of all passenger service staff and as a result we are unable to take phone calls or provide other assistance. Media releases as they become available will be posted immediately to this website. Again, our sincere apologies.”

Origin Pacific Airways’ final scheduled flight was flown by BAe Jetstream 41 ZK-JSE from Christchurch to Tauranga (Origin 704) on the 10th of August 2006. 240 staff were made redundant despite Robert Inglis' best efforts to find a new investor and stave off creditors. At this point the airline hoped to keep the profitable freight business running with a staff of 31, 26 being operational and five administrative. At the end of August 2006 it was announced Origin Pacific would resume an air charter service  in addition to its freight service, as the division had operated "significantly profitably". By mid-September, however, Origin Pacific Airways took steps to wind up the airline after failing to reach agreement with parties interested in taking over its freight operations.

Origin Pacific was a brave attempt to establish an alternate regional airline in New Zealand. After the initial move away from main trunk services the airline attempted to establish its regional network. Competing with Air New Zealand, however, is never easy. Origin didn't help itself by changing its timetable so often. In the early years the timetable was changing every six weeks. Added to this flights might only operate two or three days a week rather than having a regular weekday pattern so that business people knew there was always a flight at a certain time. Like Air New Zealand Origin had to find work for its aircraft during the middle of the day. These non-peak hour flights were more difficult to fill and so flights to places like Dunedin and Tauranga never took off during these early years. 

Undoubtedly the Qantas codeshare was incredibly important for Origin Pacific and this enabled the airline to grow. To be a national regional airline there needs to be a connection to a major carrier on the main trunk routes. Qantas' withdrawal from the codeshare agreement marked the beginning of the end for Origin. Origin Pacific Airways was left with a large regional network and lost 40% of its traffic overnight. Without the connection to a major carrier and main trunk passengers the company could not survive.   

Nonetheless Origin Pacific was a very successful airline. It carried passengers safely for a number of years. It brought competition to the regions which is still an issue today and it encouraged cheaper fares to the regions. But in the end the regions favoured Air New Zealand. In the end competition works only if it is used and sadly for Origin the uptake just wasn't there.


As Originair prepares to get airborne this month it is clear already a number of the lessons learnt from Origin Pacific have already been heeded.





Fleet

Aerospatiale-Alenia ATR 72-212
JSY (c/n 379)
JSZ (c/n 385)

Bombardier DHC-8-311
NEQ (c/n 397)
NER (c/n 374)

British Aerospace Jetstream 31
JSA (c/n 839)
JSH (c/n 838)
JSI (c/n 751)
JSX (c/n 651)
OSW (c/n 629)

British Aerospace Jetstream 32
JSQ (c/n 968)
JSR (c/n 969)
JSU (c/n 946)

British Aerospace Jetstream 41
JSE (c/n 41046)
JSK (c/n 41049)
JSM (c/n 41052)
JSN (c/n 41053)
JSO (c/n 41056)

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle
DCN (c/n 421C0688)

De Havilland Canada DHC-8-102 Dash 8
NES (c/n 125)
NET (c/n 197)
NEU (c/n 218)

Fairchild Metroliner III
CIC (c/n AC623B)
PAA (c/n AC-582)
POA (c/n AC-551B)
POB (c/n AC6060B)

Fairchild Metro 23
JSJ (c/n DC-888B)
JSV (c/n DC-868B)
POE (c/n CC-843B)
POF (c/n CC-844B)

7 comments:

  1. Well done and very timely! Clearly a lot of effort went into that one! Fingers crossed for OriginAir. With Eagle Air shutting down by mid-2016, and SoundsAir growing, and Jetstar starting regional services, this is a very interesting time for aviation in New Zealand!

    Hopefully, the Nelson flights get busy and they can see some growth in their routes, but I highly doubt it will ever be as big as it was. But it could become a nice little nest egg.

    Oh and I almost forgot the other one, KRA... (lol)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good Stuff Steve. Very well done article. Very interesting history of what was a interesting airline.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  3. A very interesting history. I don't accept the conventional claim that the Air NZ/Qantas proposal for co-operation Trans-Tasman led to QF withdrawing from its NZ domestic codeshares. First, a cornerstone of that (ultimately unsuccessful) proposal was that any co-operation would be limited to the Tasman. Next, Qantas at the time told me there had been so many customer complaints and failures of service (which QF had tried and tried to remedy with Origin's staff) they would not be continuing the codeshare. I had had three completely unacceptable experiences on Origin/Qantas codeshares over two days and more before that. I always used Origin, when available, while holding Koru life membership and top tier Air NZ status! Origin kept changing available destinations, timetables, aircraft types. On longer routes its overall travel times were slower (e.g. to/from Invercargill). The final straw was outright rudeness and lies from ground staff. I hope that this time round the lessons have been learned...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Memories with Origin pacific. Used to catch the ATR service to AKL via NPE :)

    ReplyDelete