Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand have confirmed to the Australian Securities Exchange that they have been in talks over a potential trans-Tasman alliance.
In two short, separately issued statements to the ASX, the two airlines confirmed that they have been in discussions “for several months” but no agreement between the two had been reached. Both airlines noted that they would advise the market if an agreement is reached between the two, and have noted that they will not comment further until such time.
Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue’s short haul international arm Pacific Blue both compete vigorously on the trans-Tasman and domestic New Zealand markets. It is expected that any alliance between the two airlines would be limited to international services, and could also involve the transfer of passengers to and from V Australia’s services to Asia, South Africa and the US.
The talks come as Air New Zealand is preparing for a major shake-up of its trans-Tasman product, which will see it more closely aligned to its current domestic product, including dropping business class seating on flights operated by its A320 fleet.