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Qantas to poach Air New Zealand frequent flyers with switch offer

written by Adam Thorn | April 6, 2021

Air New Zealand and Qantas have finished one-two as Australia's most reputable companies for 2019. (Air New Zeaaland/Qantas)

Qantas has made an audacious pitch to woo Air New Zealand frequent flyers by allowing top-tier members to be fast-tracked onto its own loyalty scheme.

The offer was previously used to target Virgin Velocity members in November, but for the first time is now open to Kiwi residents.

It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed on Tuesday afternoon that quarantine-free flights between Australia and New Zealand would launch on 19 April.

The offer means new transferring members only need to accumulate 100 credits before 31 July to qualify for Gold rather than the usual 700.


However, they will gain immediate access to lounges and extra baggage while they attempt to hit the lower target, which could be reached by booking as few as five return economy trips between Sydney and Melbourne.

Gold tier benefits include lounge access across Qantas and Oneworld airline lounges globally, preferential seating and priority access to check-in, boarding and upgrade requests.

The offer, which is open to loyalty members from 16 international airlines, previously ran late last year but then wasn’t open to New Zealand residents.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has previously revealed that that 25 corporate accounts switched to his airline since the start of the COVID crisis.

The bold move comes after the Qantas Group said it would operate 83 per cent of its pre-COVID capacity to New Zealand when the two-way, trans-Tasman bubble launches on 19 April.

The airline group also said it would launch two new routes from Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast alongside restarting all its traditional routes between the two countries.

In total, it will operate up to 122 return flights per week across the Tasman on 15 routes, or 52,000 seats each week. It has been operating at just 3 per cent pre-COVID capacity during the current one-way arrangement.

The news comes despite Virgin Australia surprisingly announcing it won’t fly most of its New Zealand routes until 31 October. It followed PM Ardern warning passengers travelling to Australia to “plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted” if there is a COVID outbreak.

A one-way ‘travel bubble’ first opened in October 2020 allowing Kiwis to enter Australia without quarantine, but not the other way around.

Both countries indicated it would be made reciprocal in the first quarter of 2021, however, the move was postponed due to numerous small outbreaks of COVID in both countries.

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Comments (3)

  • Taryn


    And what happens to Aussies’ in NZ when Ardern places her country into lockdown?

    The truth of the matter is International travel won’t be happening to anywhere for several years’, as there’s NO guarantee that this disease will go away substantially, anytime soon.
    Our only hope is that the various vaccines will (a) work properly, & (b) not have deadly side affects, as is happening currently, sadly.

    Also, how many more ‘leaks’ will happen from probable Chinese laboratories’? Ever heard terminology ‘WMD’? If this Covid-19 wasn’t one, I don’t know what is. That’s one of the reasons’ the Chinese various leaders’ are SO against Australia, & decimating our trade to them, because we want the truth!

    It’s still possible to get Bubonic Plague, & it started in the 6thC AD.

  • Kevin Ford


    Whatever happened to Qantas saying no one could travel on their airline if you didn’t have the C19 vaccination, change of mind?

  • Steve A


    Qantas loyalty program? The words ‘Qantas’ and ‘loyalty’ do not go together, it seems ever?
    Do you think that it shows loyalty for Qantas to entice Air NZ members over to its own program? After all, Qantas not too long ago enticed Air NZ to partner with it across the Tasman, and got Air NZ to terminate its partnership with Virgin.
    Think back a few years ago, and Qantas and British Airways had a partnership in place. Enter Emirates and Qantas unceremoniously dumped BA.
    Just flick through the Qantas history pages over the last 12.5 years of the Joyce leadership and you will see that ‘loyalty’ has almost disappeared from the Qantas vocabulary, along with words like ‘trust’, and ‘ethics’ and so many other words that should be valuable to use from “our Spirit of Australia”, “National Airline”.
    Qantas has shafted its loyal shareholders with negative accumulated profit over 12.5 years, and with only 8 cents per share average annual dividend, and falling, because Qantas management will impose another 7-years without a dividend payment, as they previously did from 2009.
    Qantas has shafted its loyal workers who have been dumped in the thousands and out sourced in the thousands too.
    And Qantas has shafted its loyal customers too, who keep getting promised new aircraft to fly around in, deliveries of which instead habitually get postponed.
    And we just saw nearly 2,500 Qantas loyal ground staff dumped to supposedly save $100 million over 4 years. Well this figure is wrong for starters because a substantial amount of that was to purchase new ground handling equipment which will not disappear after 4 years, but be there to use well into the future. Qantas won’t own that equipment in the future.
    So what is $100 million in savings in Qantas terms? It’s the amount of money that you pay your CEO, or just 3% of the money squandered by management on share buy backs over 3 years, or 3% of shareholders money blown by management on Jetstar franchises in Asia, 2 of which have disappeared completely and 2 of which have never made any money for shareholders.
    So is it those greedy Qantas ground staff wanting to feed their families costing QF shareholders so much money, or could it be the paucity of sound Qantas management and Board decisions preventing the airline from making money?
    We all witnessed the Senate Qantas Inquiry in 2014, to find out the shenanigans going on at Qantas, and many of us made submissions to that Inquiry too.
    And now Qantas is being still run so badly, shouldn’t there be a 2021 Senate Qantas Inquiry?
    Many people will say no, of course, it is the fault of C19. That’s true of course for today, because nobody blames QF for that, but long before COVID, Qantas was still being run badly.
    So Prime Minister Morrison, listen to the words of Qantas CEO Joyce, who implored you to stop giving Australian taxpayer’s money to badly run airlines. Qantas is a badly run airline. Stop giving them taxpayers’ money.

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