Air New Zealand will form a deep alliance with Singapore
Airlines, resuming flights to the southeast Asian country and
gaining access to the Singaporean carrier's huge regional
market and much of its worldwide network.
Services between New Zealand and Singapore will be boosted by
almost a third and Singapore Airlines will work towards
putting its superjumbo Airbus A380 on the Auckland-Singapore
In what is one of the biggest international moves by Air New
Zealand for several years, the airline will fly its own
aircraft between Auckland and Singapore after pulling out
eight years ago and share revenue with Singapore Airlines
from all flights on the route.
Air New Zealand will also have a co-ordinated sales and
codeshare arrangement with Singapore and its subsidiary
SilkAir on its 14 routes to Britain, Europe and key South
East Asian markets, including Indonesia and India. There are
codeshare- only arrangements with Singapore and SilkAir to a
further 12 routes ranging from Bangladesh to Russia.
The agreement substantially deepens the relationship between
the two airlines which are both part of the 27-member Star
For passengers codeshare arrangements make booking easier and
travel more convenient with better co-ordination of flights,
baggage checked through the entire journey. They can mean
cheaper tickets from a hub airport to the final destination.
There is no indication of changes to overall fares in today's
announcement but cheaper promotional deals are often offered
at the launch of big partnerships.
Travel through Singapore will be attractive as its Changi
Airport has a reputation of being one the best in the world.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval but flights could
start as early as December this year.
While Air New Zealand will take over half of the flights
currently operated by Singapore Airlines to this country, the
Singaporean carrier will also upgrade its services, moving
towards flying its A380 on a seasonal basis to this country
for the first time.
Air New Zealand says the deal could boost capacity between
New Zealand and Singapore by up to 30 per cent year-round
Air New Zealand last flew to Singapore in 2006 but struggled
to make money on the route. The airline has been chasing
partnerships with others rather than operating alone as a
small carrier flying into big markets where rivals have a
home ground advantage with marketing and sales distribution
power and favourable treatment from airports.
Singapore Airlines has flown here since 1976, flying up to 19
round trips a week to Auckland and Christchurch but like many
other overseas carriers flying here it has had difficulty
making money at times.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said his
airline was on a positive growth trajectory with a focus on
the Pacific Rim.
"An alliance with Singapore Airlines clearly fits our
business objectives of working with the right partners in the
right markets to deliver seamless customer journeys," he
Luxon, who took over as chief executive of Air New Zealand a
year ago, sits on the Star Alliance board with Singapore's
head Goh Choon Phong, who is also relatively new in the top
Goh said the alliance was another example of his airline's
commitment to the southwest Pacific.
"This is a genuine win-win partnership enabling Singapore
Airlines and Air New Zealand to work together to provide more
flight frequency and enhanced travel options for our
Air New Zealand last year started a revenue sharing deal with
Cathay Pacific on the carriers' Auckland-Hong Kong route.
Codeshare and co-ordinated sales to:
United Arab Emirates
*New daily Air NZ Auckland-Singapore service replaces and
expands Singapore Airlines' five times a week evening service
using refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft
* Singapore Airlines progressively introduces an A380 to its
Auckland- Singapore daytime service
* Singapore retains its daily service to Christchurch using
its refitted 777-200 aircraft.
- Grant Bradley of the New Zealand Herald