AUCKLAND — In dramatic contrast to its neighboring Australian airlines, Air New Zealand has the luxury of a record half-year profit to help support an aggressive growth agenda. The carrier reported a NZ $140 million ($117.4 million) net profit for the six months through Dec. 31, up 40% from the previous year. At the same time, Qantas announced a hefty loss and revealed plans for significant aircraft order deferrals. Virgin Australia also revealed a significant deficit for the period. ...

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