New Zealand transport officials on Thursday gave the final nod to an alliance between Singapore Airlines Ltd. (SGX:C6L) and Air New Zealand Limited (NZE:AIR). The partnership between the two airlines was announced in January, and had later been approved by Singapore's competition commission.
The alliance is expected to bring down ticket prices between New Zealand and Singapore, and passengers will have access to more cities on the routes served by the two airlines as part of a codeshare agreement. A codesharing agreement, in industry parlance, means a carrier can sell tickets for a route operated by partner airlines. Both airlines will announce the “sale and operational dates for the alliance services” soon, according to a Singapore Airlines statement.
“Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have committed to offering 30 percent more seats every week between Auckland and Singapore," Gerry Brownlee, New Zealand’s transport minister said, in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse, adding: "This will... ensure the availability of low fares.”
Singapore Airlines will be able to codeshare on domestic routes in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands through this alliance, while Air New Zealand will fly to Singapore for the first time since 2006.
“It’s very pleasing to receive regulatory approval for this alliance which will enable us to grow our network with operations between Auckland and Singapore in the very near future,” Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand’s CEO, said, according to Australian Aviation, adding: “We look forward to working with our colleagues at Singapore Airlines to boost capacity between New Zealand and Singapore.”
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As part of the alliance, Singapore Airlines also said that it will also move its daily flights on the Singapore-Auckland route to the Airbus A380 from its current Boeing 777.
The alliance has reportedly been approved for an initial period of four years, during which time, both airlines will have to show an improvement in capacity and customer benefits, and prove that the move has not had a negative effect on the competition in other markets.