Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines (SIA) have agreed to expand their alliance to include the latter carrier’s upcoming one-stop Singapore-Wellington service.
SIA is due to start flights between the city-state and New Zealand capital, via Canberra, from September 21, with the four times a week offering being operated with Boeing 777-200s.
The two Star Alliance members’ joint venture covers codeshares and interlines on routes from New Zealand to Asia and Europe, as well as reciprocal frequent flyer benefits and other cooperation.
Currently, Air New Zealand and SIA have a revenue-sharing arrangement on two routes – Singapore-Auckland (which both operate) and Singapore-Christchurch (operated by SIA). SIA’s Wellington-Singapore service will be added to that revenue-sharing arrangement.
However, the Singapore-Canberra and Canberra-Wellington legs of SIA’s new flights will not be part of the alliance arrangements.
Air New Zealand said in a statement on Thursday it would place its NZ airline code on the SIA’s Singapore-Wellington service, while the Singaporean carrier would place its SQ airline code on Air New Zealand’s domestic services beyond Wellington.
“We welcome the addition of the Wellington service to our alliance and look forward to celebrating the inaugural flight in a few weeks’ time,” Air New Zealand chief strategy, networks and alliances officer Stephen Jones said.
SIA general manager for New Zealand Simon Turcotte said on Thursday the new Wellington service offered greater choice for passengers.
“The addition of the new Wellington-Singapore route (via Canberra) is another example of our commitment to provide increased frequency and capacity between Singapore and New Zealand,” Turcotte said in a statement.
”We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Air New Zealand since we launched our alliance agreement in 2015 and we greatly appreciate their support for the new service that will connect Wellington to the world.”
SIA is in separate alliance partnerships with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.
Virgin said at the time of the official announcement of SIA’s Canberra service in January it would codeshare on both the Singapore-Canberra and Canberra-Wellington sectors.
A research note from thinktank CAPA – Centre for Aviation published in January suggested Air New Zealand “had little to gain” from SIA’s Wellington service given the revenue-sharing arrangements in place, but was likely to codeshare anyway.
“Refusing to codeshare would send the wrong message to the market and potentially damage its relationship with SIA,” CAPA said.
CAPA noted that Air New Zealand currently offered passengers from Wellington to Singapore a one-stop option via Auckland, while it served Canberra through its trans-Tasman alliance partner Virgin.
“Air NZ is also financially better off having Wellington-Singapore passengers travel via Auckland as it is sharing revenues with SIA on all Auckland-Singapore flights,” CAPA said. “Removing Wellington passengers from these flights could impact traffic and hence, the profitability of the Auckland-Singapore route.”
“For Wellington-Canberra passengers, Air NZ now offers a one-stop product via Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney with partner Virgin Australia. Removing Wellington-Canberra passengers could impact traffic and hence, profitability of its existing Australia flights.”
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