Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand to end Tasman Sea flight sharing
After seven years of code sharing flights between Australia and New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Air Zealand have decided to go it alone on the increasingly lucrative Tasman Sea air travel market.
The airlines commenced the strategic alliance at the end of 2010 to cooperate on services, and current regulatory approval for the alliance expires at the end of October this year.
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says market dynamics on the Tasman have changed and the time is now right for each airline to focus on its own objectives.
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“Australia is the largest source of inbound visitors to New Zealand and Air New Zealand has built up a significant presence in this market,” Wallace said. “This move will enable us to deliver a more consistent customer experience by using our own fleet and delivering an improved schedule, which we’ll provide more details about shortly.”
“We remain fully committed to our other alliance relationships and our overall global airline alliance strategy as a critical success factor in other markets.”
Code sharing flights enables carriers to save on operating costs on routes that they may not have filled single-handedly. However, due to increases in air travel across the Tasman, Air New Zealand and Virgin believe they can operate more successfully alone.
It is thought that the move could lead to cheaper fares for travel between Australia and New Zealand.