Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand have agreed to form an alliance which will enable Air New Zealand to fly the Auckland-Singapore route again and Singapore Airlines to operate the Airbus A380 to New Zealand for the first time.
The Airbus A380 would be operated daily by Singapore Airlines between Singapore and Auckland, progressively replacing an existing daily service with the smaller Boeing 777-300ER.
Airbus A380 operations would initially be on a seasonal basis and Boeing 777-300ERs would be used during off-peak travel periods, according to Singapore Airlines.
Air New Zealand would launch daily services between Auckland and Singapore using newly refitted Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, taking over five flights each week currently operated by Singapore Airlines and adding two more weekly flights, increasing the frequency of the service to a daily round-trip.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the carriers would aim to boost their existing capacity between Singapore and New Zealand by up to 30 per cent year-round over time.
Singapore Airlines’ daily Singapore-Christchurch service would continue as part of the alliance.
The proposed alliance would enable Air New Zealand passengers to book codeshare travel on the Singapore Airlines network to the United Kingdom, Europe, South East Asia and Africa, as well as on the Asia network of its regional subsidiary airline, SilkAir.
Singapore Airlines’ customers would be able to book codeshare travel throughout the Air New Zealand domestic network and to selected international destinations.
“This alliance is another example of our commitment to the important Southwest Pacific market, and our commitment to the further enhancement of our network,” says Goh Choon Phong, Singapore Airlines’ chief executive officer. “This is a genuine win-win partnership, enabling Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand to work together to provide more flight frequency and enhanced travel options to our customers.”
“Air New Zealand is on a positive growth trajectory with a clear focus on Pacific Rim destinations,” says Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand’s chief executive officer. “An alliance with Singapore Airlines clearly fits our business objectives of working with the right partners in the right markets to deliver seamless customer journeys.”
The alliance would see Air New Zealand’s ‘NZ’ flight code return to Singapore Airlines’ network for the first time since 2007. Air New Zealand last operated to Singapore in 2006. Both airlines are members of the Star Alliance.
SIA and Air New Zealand are seeking approval for the alliance from the Competition Commission of Singapore and the New Zealand Minister of Transport.
Pending their approval, joint flights could commence as early as December, according to SIA.