After surviving the most tumultuous period in its history, Air New Zealand (ANZ) is preparing its long-term strategy.

The group has already sold non-core assets, scaled back marginal routes, and cut other costs. The company predicts it could break even for the financial year ending June. This is a year sooner than previous estimates, and well above earlier forecasts of a pre-tax NZ$63 million ($28 million) loss before extraordinary items.

One of the key issues ANZ must address is the threat of low-cost rivals. Australia's Virgin Blue expects to launch flights to and within New Zealand by year's end or early next year. A home-grown start-up called Jump Airlines also plans to launch by April. The speculation is that ANZ will move to a low-fare, no-frills domestic model, but it has refused to comment.

With Virgin Blue set to become a rival rather than ally, ANZ also faces the question of how to handle behind/beyond gateway feed within Australia for its own trans-Tasman flights and for its Star Alliance partners.

Source: Airline Business