Air NZ and Team NZ

The Herald reports:

is a supplier to New Zealand’s America’s Cup arch-rivals Oracle.

The airline is listed on the United States yachting syndicate’s website as a supplier with 28 other companies, some of them international firms but most from America.

Why wouldn’t they be? I expect Air NZ to supply services to anyone willing to pay.

Emirates Team New Zealand are on course to race Oracle for the Auld Mug and support for a rival outfit by the airline – which is mainly taxpayer-owned – is puzzling an avid fan of New Zealand’s challenge.

“It’s strange to think that the national carrier of New Zealand is helping the competition, let alone the New Zealand Government holding a majority stake in the company,” said supporter Kurt Bennett.

So we have a story based on one fan’s puzzlement?

Air NZ is not helping the competition. They are not training the crew up. they are providing seats on planes.

The Government also owns about 73 per cent of Air NZ, which because of exclusivity arrangements would be prevented from joining Emirates in backing the New Zealand challenge.

Exactly. So how is this a story?

Mr Bennett said he understood that but did not think it was appropriate for a company such as Air NZ to support another country, let alone the direct competition to Team NZ.

They are not supporting another country. They are providing a service.

Air NZ said it was not a sponsor of Oracle, just a supplier, but did not provide details of the nature of the deal. “It’s worth noting that Emirates Team NZ and Oracle are both users of Air NZ services. Oracle and Emirates have people based in New Zealand and Air NZ is the only carrier to offer direct services between New Zealand and San Francisco,” a spokeswoman said.

Maybe Mr Bennett thinks Air NZ should ban all foreigners from their flights, in case any of them are sportsmen or sportswomen who compete against NZ atheletes?

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