Air New Zealand’s efforts to grow its Pacific Rim network have suffered a setback, with the airline delaying the start of nonstop flights between its Auckland hub and Manila.
The Star Alliance member said it April it planned to serve Manila from December with Boeing 767-300ER equipment. While flight schedules and a specific launch date were not disclosed at the time of the announcement, the airline said ticket sales would begin by the middle of the year.
However, the route has now been shelved.
“Air New Zealand has elected to defer the launch of its direct service to the Philippine capital of Manila,“ the airline said in a note to travel agents.
“Administrative delays in being able to make the new route available for sale, coupled with the traditionally longer booking window for this market, have led to the deferral decision.
“The service was to launch in December 2016, but has now been deferred until further notice.”
Currently, there are no nonstop flights between New Zealand and the Philippines. Philippine Airlines serves Auckland from Manila with a one-stop offering through Cairns using Airbus A320 narrowbodies. There are also other one-stop options through various Asian hubs.