Sunday, 30 May 2010

Air New Zealand ends relationship with NZOC

Close on the heels of Australia loosing sponsorship from Telstra, Air New Zealand dropped its sponsorship as official travel provider for the New Zealand Olympic Committee, arguing that the economics did not stack up.

Withdrawl of sponsorships from 2 major Commonwealth sporting nations indicate a troubled financial world still feeling uncertain about the future.

Meanwhile, Singapore Airlines is set to fly the New Zealand team to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi this year. This will bring and end to the relationship held by Air New Zealand since the athletes last travelled by ship.

Delhi will be the first games since the 1952 Helsinki Olympics that Air New Zealand has not been the official travel provider for an Olympics or Commonwealth games.

Air New Zealand deputy chief executive Norm Thompson said that although, in an ideal world, the airline would fly the New Zealand team, the company had made a commercial decision.

"We're a commercial organisation, we've got a responsibility to our shareholders. Admittedly, the largest shareholder is the Government, but we've got 25,000 other shareholders that we're responsible to as well, and if we don't see any commercial value in doing something, then we will generally not do it."

Terry Daly, the NZOC's commercial director said he understood Air New Zealand's rationale in light of the global financial crisis and troubles in the aviation industry.

Despite its official standing, the NZOC gets only about 5 per cent of its funding from the Government, with the rest needed from a variety of sponsors.

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