WREDA doubling-down on airline welfare
In January 2016, it was revealed that Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) had signed an agreement with Singapore Airlines to subsidise flights between Wellington, Canberra, and Singapore. There's been enormous secrecy over the arrangement, but documents indicate the decade long funding arrangement will cost ratepayers across the Wellington region millions of dollars.
It has now been revealed that due to the complete financial failure of the Wellington-Canberra route, flights would now go to Melbourne instead of Canberra, and WREDA would now subsidise those flights instead.
That's an outrageous use of ratepayers' money. There are already multiple flights every week between Wellington and Melbourne, offered by both Air New Zealand and Qantas. Ratepayers money should not be spent on subsidising a flight route, especially one with existing competition.
WREDA should respond to the change in flight routes by pulling out of their subsidy deal with Singapore Airlines as soon as possible.