Ansett plans to reinvent the airline

ANSETT Air New Zealand CEO Gary Toomey has plans to reinvent the airline group by March. Mr Toomey also wants Ansett International to be operating trans-Pacific flights by November next year.

Before the March re-launch Ansett hopes to implement changes to aircraft interiors, new seat fabrics, uniform changes and improved service standards.

Ansett International plans to introduce Narita-Australia, Australia-Bangkok-London and trans-Pacific services from Sydney to the US West Coast by November next year when new aircraft provided by group part-owner Singapore arlines would be available.

Mr Toomey said Ansett had negotiated a sale, leaseback and replacement deal on its Boeing 767-200 jets that would see that section of its fleet completely replaced over the next three years.

The airline group is currently awaiting a decision by the Australian and New Zealand Governments on a proposal for Singapore Airlines to take a larger stake in Air New Zealand, injecting much needed capital.

Qantas, a former Air New Zealand shareholder, has said it wants to buy back into the New Zealand flag carrier and has actively lobbied both Australian and New Zealand Governments to do so.

Mr Toomey said an increased Singapore Airlines stake in the Ansett-Air New Zealand group remained the group's preferred option.