THE current alliance between Virgin & Air New Zealand is due to expire in October 2018, and the airlines have advised that they will not apply to reauthorise the alliance which has seen the carriers coordinate operations across the Tasman since 2010. With the withdrawal of Emirates services between Australia and Auckland, this has made approval much less likely, given that Air New Zealand and Virgin have a combined capacity share of 53% on the Tasman.
Both airlines have said that they will work through arrangements regarding code-sharing, scheduling, inflight offering, lounge access and frequent flyer program reciprocity to ensure minimal disruption to customers.
Air New Zealand have said they will continue to evolve their strategy, including boosting capacity to North and South America with a strong focus on Australian passengers.
Virgin Australia will continue their strong focus on “providing competition and outstanding service on the Tasman, which remains an important part of our network and strategy as an airline group”.