Monday, September 30, 2013

Air New Zealand: Not Patriots?

As the America's Cup frenzy subsides, we're hearing more behind-the-scenes stories of the good, the bad and the quirky.
I'll leave it to you to rate THIS...
When Team New Zealand was building its America's Cup AC72 catamaran, Air New Zealand denied them help - because the Kiwi sailors were sponsored by a rival airline, Emirates!
Team NZ approached the airline to use its carbon-fibre manufacturing facility, but senior managers turned them down. The airline had the only autoclave machinery in the country capable of producing the specific designs required by the Kiwi sailors. But Air NZ refused as it wanted limited sponsorship rights in return. But that couldn't be done, due to existing major sponsorship from Emirates.
After the rebuff, Team NZ's Auckland-based boatbuilders Cookson Boats found a way to change its autoclave technology to make curved dagger boards for the team, and that machinery was used almost daily for a year while the huge catamaran was being built.
Now *shock*horror*probe* Air New Zealand (which says one of its guiding principles is to champion and promote NZ and its business) says it provided the same service for Oracle!
Our govt pumped $36 million into Team NZ's cup campaign.
Air NZ is owned by our govt.
Yet Prime Minister John Key says Air NZ acted as a commercial organisation and made decisions it believed were in its own best interests.
An Air NZ spokesman said the airline had been strongly supportive of Team NZ, with a commercial arrangement to reduce its travel costs during the cup campaign: "The airline is grateful for the efforts of all Team New Zealand's sponsors, as a successful regatta has driven strong passenger traffic on our Auckland-San Francisco route."
Yes, I'll BET it's benefited financially...
Spite...? Or just straight-out business? You decide.

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