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Nov. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Air New Zealand Ltd., the nation’s largest airline, will stop its Hong Kong-London service after abandoning hope of making a profit on the route.

The carrier will halt the flights in March, it said in statement on its website yesterday. It will continue flying to London via Los Angeles. The airline will also begin working with Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. on New Zealand-Hong Kong flights from Jan. 31.

The end of the Hong Kong-London service will enable Air NZ to continue adding capacity to Los Angeles and San Francisco, it said. Qantas Airways Ltd. is also paring European flights and forming a tie-up with Dubai-based Emirates as Middle Eastern airlines win market share on the sector by offering a wider range of connections at hubs halfway along the route.

Air NZ will cut about 70 cabin-crew posts based in London alongside the end of flights via Hong Kong, it said. The carrier began the Hong Kong-London route in October 2006.

The airline last year bought a stake in Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. to support its operations across the Tasman Sea.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Denslow in Hong Kong at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at

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