Air NZ to Rio De Janiero from AKL?

By aklrunway | Mar 03, 2012, 10:31 AM

Air NZ to Rio De Janiero from AKL? Has anyone else heard this rumour?

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By am | Mar 03, 2012, 04:30 PM

Sao Paulo would make more sense... TAM has a much wider range of connections across South American from Sao Paulo compared with Rio. Don't hold your breath though, any routes to S. America will probably have to wait for the 787's, and there are going to be ETOPS issues...

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By Dunc | Mar 04, 2012, 07:52 AM

ETPOS hum, Rarotonga, Papetee, Easter Island all can take Jumbos all would be within 2 hours of the route. More likely lack of passengers would be an issue. Lan Chile operates twin engine aircraft  PPT, Easter, Santiago. Air NZ cose shares this route from Akl already while not direct excellent leisure route with stop overs allowed. Maybe 787 economies a flight a week but still passenger numbers. Thewn again Akl, Rio, London with a 787 possible

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By am | Mar 04, 2012, 01:28 PM

Direct flights between Aus/NZ and South America don't fly across the South Pacific Ocean, they go right down South and almost touch the edge of the Antarctic... Not many diversion-worthy airports in that part of the world...

This map demonstrates how far the routing to S America would be outside the ETOPS approved areas. 180 minutes is the best that NZ will have to work with at delivery of the 789's, and there's going to be a significant diversion required if they intend to use 789's on any route to S America.

I actually think that there's plenty of traffic to support an NZ flight... You have LA and AR flying daily from AKL to S America, plus the 3 weekly QF services from SYD. NZ would be the sole Star Alliance carrier connecting Aus/NZ to S America, and would be supported by partner airlines on the other end. S America is growing rapidly economically as well. It's a strong (and very high yielding) tourist destination... 3-4 weekly to start off, perhaps increasing through the summer...

That is, of course, if they can get around the ETOPS issues.

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By here2go | Mar 05, 2012, 03:48 PM

With LAN and TAM becoming LATAM,, the big question is which alliance they join (the decision needs to be made by August).  One World (LAN) or Star Alliance (TAM)?  Aerolineas Argentinas are already headed down the SkyTeam path, so I doubt that LATAM will go that direction, noting that LAN has invested a lot in developing the Argentinian market.

Thus, we might see Qantas being the sole OW airline from Oceania, and LAN being Star Alliance from NZ, thus negating the need for Air NZ to fly that route.

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By StuParr | Mar 06, 2012, 08:46 AM

I think the chances are that LATAM will stay with OW. They have just moved into the AA terminal in the US and have quite strong links with other OW carriers. JJ on the other hand have only just moved into Star Alliance. After the Chilean court ruling it appears that OW would be the best option for them. I found this article is quite realistic in it's assumptions:

A lot of the traffic to South America is VFR traffic, QF had that problem on the BUE route. With J class never really too full they are missing on lots of income. Santiago makes more sense due to it's hub status for LA and a greater concentration of business traffic. Departing from other ports in LATAM with a larger aircraft will see yields drop.

I wouldn't be surprised that, if VA joins Star they might look in conjunction with Air NZ to fly NZ to SCL using Avianca or TACA (Star) if they improve their frequencies from that airport. I think that would be a way to compete against them. There is growth in the market. LA start with thrice weekly flights in 2001 (not sure exact date) and with QF's twice weekly flights. It has built not to 10 flights a week from OW.

I'd love to see a flight to Mexico City from either NZ or AUS, however unlikely to happen. It would allow me to miss US airports when going there.


Not sure what anyone else thinks. I've been out of the airline side of that route for a few years now, so more up-to-date comments would be welcome.

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By Dunc | Mar 05, 2012, 10:21 PM

But they fly this route with 4 engine air craft (only QANTAS flew this Great Southern route with 747ER) not 2 the only possible route with 2 enginge is not the great southern.  LAN flies AKL-SCL much further north with A340 Lan is the most profitable (and safest) of all south american airlines mergeing taking over TAM (Tam is predominately a domestic airline while LAN is an international airline which is clearly shown in their fleet make ups. Who in there right mind would use Aerolingas they often don't have enough food on board to give all passengaers 2 meals. On the westward journey if there is strong head winds (the roaring forties) they would often stop at Ushuaia to take on more fuel and of load catering. While the great circle maper may show most direct route no airline flies it.  Even LAN in South America does San Paulo then Rio. San Paulo is a mega city of 22+ million people and by far the most richest in South America thus the strength of TAM. In the peak season LAN flies direct SYD-SCL it dosen't need the 10-15% of pasengers who join the flight in AKL so you are going to run an 787 AKL- GIO whith a passenger load of about 30 dailies to South America? My money is on One World. Rio is like the Gold Coast the only prople who want to fly there have appatments their. The Real is a very strong currency compared to the Kiwi so it won't be Kiwis going to Rio. If your in Rio and want a taste of Fiordlandland then Chile has it all and better and cheaper and closer and their wines are pretty good as well. The other factor Oneworld in the Southern Hemisphere is much stronger so SYD-SCL-JNB-SYD is much more likely than AirNZ putting a 787 on an AKL-GIO weekly route unless it goes somewhere else afterwards. Since UA/Continental is using it's first 787 HOU-AKL, AKL-NY for Air NZ is goona be the second route for AIR NZ 787. Though the gossip I heard is a possib;e route for AIR NZ 787 is AKL-MEX-LHR. Though this all fantasy the next 6 months fuel price is going to be make or break time for many.

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By Dunc | Mar 05, 2012, 10:36 PM

In summary the map shows that it is not possible on this route for Air NZ with 787's to fly this route unless it takes a route further north as in my original post. It may be longer but it would be do able but economic?

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By am | Mar 06, 2012, 12:56 AM

It might be possible down the track with 240 or 330min ETOPS. To keep within the 180min area, NZ would have to add 12.5% to the total distance travelled. That's over 800nm extra, or 1.5-2 hours travelling time. Based on what happened with Virgin to JNB, I'd say it's not likely to work. The 787 might make all the difference though.

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By Dunc | Mar 09, 2012, 06:07 PM

As originals said "they heard gossip" I just can't see where the traffic is going to come from? Just back from Brazil and the cost of living is dear so how are the Kiwis going to afford to stay there? If Lan/Tam changes to Star then it might do it to Santiago then Mexico but Rio? Just because you have a piece of software that shows the shortest route dosen't mean to say it's practical to fly it either with the plane model or passengers. What the Air NZ really wants is a plane that can go to the UK non stop, the 787 comes close maybe a later model can do it. Now put that in your software, eyebrows went up didn't they!

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