New Zealand Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee has given the go-ahead to a planned alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, the final regulatory hurdle for a deal which already has Competition Commission of Singapore approval.
“Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have committed to offering 30 per cent more seats every week between Auckland and Singapore. This will more than compensate for capacity lost when Jetstar withdrew from the route, and ensure the availability of low fares,” Brownlee said in announcing his approval.
When lanching the alliance in January the two airlines said the new arrangements would take effect from December, with Air New Zealand saying in a statement today that: “The two carriers will announce on sale and operational dates for alliance services shortly.”
“It’s very pleasing to receive regulatory approval for this alliance which will enable us to grow our network with operations between Auckland and Singapore in the very near future,” said Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues at Singapore Airlines to boost capacity between New Zealand and Singapore which will deliver some great benefits to our customers and other stakeholders in the New Zealand tourism industry.”
Under the alliance the existing daily Singapore Airlines 777-300ER Singapore-Auckland service will be upgraded to A380s, initially on a seasonal basis, while Singapore Airlines’ second, five-times-weekly Auckland 777-200ER flights will be replaced by a daily Air New Zealand 777-200ER service. With the airlines codesharing on each others’ services the two carriers will be able to offer a double daily Singapore-Auckland schedule, representing an up to 30 per cent capacity increase. Air New Zealand will also codeshare on Singapore Airlines’ existing daily Singapore-Christchurch service, and will place its code on Singapore Airlines flights to the UK, Europe, South East Asia and Africa and SilkAir regional Asia flights. Singapore Airlines will in turn codeshare on Air New Zealand’s domestic network and to “select” international ports.
Air New Zealand has not flown to Singapore since 2006, and currently serves the city-state via Brisbane under an interline agreement with Etihad Airways. Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines are both members of the Star Alliance, and are both shareholders in, and, separately, alliance codeshare partners with, Virgin Australia.