Air New Zealand has boosted its route network thanks to a codeshare agreement with Air India.
Under the deal, announced on Monday, Air NZ will place its NZ airline code on Air India’s services to Delhi from Sydney and Melbourne, as well as the Star Alliance member’s services to Hong Kong.
And Air India will place its AI code on Air NZ’s trans-Tasman flights from Sydney and Melbourne, as well as domestically within NZ.
Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said the codeshare agreement recognised the fact there were 150,000 New Zealanders with Indian backgrounds living in NZ and 90,000 people travel between the two countries each year, mostly through Australia.
“It is starting to open up access to a continent that will be quite important down the road,” Luxon said.
“This codeshare agreement will provide greater choice and convenience for those travelling between our two countries in both directions.”
Air India began serving Australia in 2013 and currently flies three times a week to Melbourne and four times a week to Sydney from its Delhi hub with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners.
While Air NZ had a comprehensive alliance with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to serve Asia and Europe, the partnership did not cover India because bilateral air services agreements did not allow NZ flag carriers to have third-party codeshares between Singapore and India.