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"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," said Air New Zealand. "The service was to launch in December 2016, but has now been deferred until further notice."
Earlier this year, Air New Zealand made an announcement that it was growing its network in the Pacific Rim by launching the only non-stop flight between New Zealand and the Philippines. The service was to begin in December with three weekly flights operated by a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft. The carrier was hoping to begin ticket sales by the end of the first half of this year.
When Air New Zealand begins flying to Manila, it will be the fastest flight between the two nations at approximately 10.5 hours. "As the only non-stop service between New Zealand and the Philippines, our flight will be quicker and more convenient for travellers than the fastest current option, which flies indirect, potentially saving up to two and a half hours each way," added Luxon.
Although no specific details were given regarding the administrative delays, it is highly likely that the cause can be attributed to the limited supply of slots available at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which would make it challenging for Air New Zealand to obtain their preferred schedule.
Meanwhile, the New Zealand-Philippines market continues to be served by one-stop products including the Philippine Airlines service from Manila to Auckland via Cairns. The national flag carrier launched the service last December with Airbus narrow-body aircraft.
References: Australian Aviation