Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Qantas and Air New Zealand ignore different alliance and sign codeshare agreement

Qantas and Air New Zealand ignore different alliance and sign codeshare agreement

The alliance will see Qantas stamp its QF code onto 30 domestic AirNZ services across New Zealand, while the Kiwi carrier will in turn plant its NZ prefix on 85 domestic Qantas flight in Australia.

Qantas and Air New Zealand will join forces in a new codeshare agreement.

The deal also opens up new destinations for customers, with regional Australia set to benefit the most, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said.

"But when it makes sense to work together to help our customers of both airlines have a seamless, easy experience, that's something we want to do", Mr Joyce told reporters.

The agreement will cover 115 domestic routes across Australia and New Zealand, with Qantas adding its own code to 30 routes on Air New Zealand's network, whilst Air New Zealand will add 85 routes on Qantas' network.

Eligible customers will have access to a combined total of 36 domestic lounges on both sides of the Tasman when flying on routes covered by the codeshare agreement.

Bookings on the codeshare QF/NZ services will be available from the end of July for these routes in New Zealand.

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It will not apply to trans-Tasman and other global flights, however, with the two airlines remaining "fierce competitors" in those markets, he added.

"Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back nearly 80 years", said Joyce.

However, the deal excludes the trans-Tasman and other worldwide routes, with the two airlines remaining "fierce competitors" in those markets, according to Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxton. In April, Air NZ announced its seven-year trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin would end on October 27.

Virgin, which has vowed to compete strongly on the Tasman and is due to announce its post-alliance plans soon, described the deal as bad news for consumers.

Out of four million people who travel across the Tasman from New Zealand, 140,000 of them do an onward domestic journey in Australia, he added.

While the deal is a sign of a warming relationship between Air NZ and Qantas, it is short of the Air NZ-Virgin alliance which involved co-ordinating flights and ticket prices.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says there is potential for the airlines to explore areas of mutual interest, including research into biofuels.

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