Wellington Council dunces continue to pour good money into bad corporate welfare decisions

Singapore Airlines has shafted Wellington Council and their dopey idea to subsidise the airline for flights between Wellington and Canberra.

Singapore Airlines has announced that they are canning the flights and instead routing via Melbourne…and the stupid council is going to keep on paying.

After sixteen months, Singapore Airlines has ditched its experimental “capital express route”, opting to reroute its Wellington flights through Melbourne.

From the end of April, the airline will fly Boeing 777-200 four times a week from Wellington to Singapore through Australia’s second largest city, replacing the existing service through Canberra.

While the Canberra service was launched with fanfare, prompting a sister city agreement between the two capitals, news of the change to Melbourne was quickly welcomed, prompting predictions of price cuts.

“With all due respect to Canberra, I think there’ll be more people from the lower North Island and upper South Island, both from a business and a holiday point of view,” House of Travel’s commercial planning director Brent Thomas said.

There are already Wellington-Melbourne flights offered by both Qantas and Air New Zealand. This is going to flood the market with additional capacity. Obviously Singapore airlines wasn’t making any money on Canberra route. So now they are trying to cannibalise the Melbourne route.

 

And this is where the stupid sets in:

Singapore Airlines’ introduction to Wellington comes at a cost to ratepayers, after Wellington City Council chief executive Kevin Lavery approved a multi-million dollar agreement to provide “marketing support” for up to a decade.

The terms of the agreement have never been released, but mayor Justin Lester confirmed the agreement was for the airline to fly through any Australian city, meaning the support would continue to be available.

Information requests on the subsidy agreement have yielded little documentation, and the Taxpayers Union has launched a petition calling for the payments to be ended.

Since the service was launched, Lester has talked up the possibility of the service being increased to a daily one, which he said was more likely under the new configuration.

“It gives us greater opportunity to increase it to a daily flight services in the near future, or in the future.”

Lester said the change would not impact the sister city agreement with Canberra, adding that he hoped one day there would be another direct flight between the two cities.

Outrageous corporate welfare to one of the world’s richest airlines, for no apparent gain. As for Lester’s explanations…cough, cough, bullshit, cough.

Wellington City Council is simply trying to shore up support for their ill-conceived runway extension.

The problem with Wellington City Council and Wellingtonians in general, it that they think, by dint of the government being in town, that they are a bustling and important city. They aren’t either.

They are a small town, and more people read my website every two days than people who live in Wellington City. Wellington would probably qualify as one of Trump’s shitholes.

 

-Fairfax

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

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