Qantas and Air New Zealand are forming a codeshare agreement that will allow the airlines to share seats on nearly every regularly serviced domestic route in both Australia and New Zealand.
The Australian flag carrier is adding its code to 30 Air New Zealand domestic routes, according to an airline communique released Friday morning. At the end of July, the airlines will start selling seats on each other’s domestic flights that depart on or after this coming October 28. Once the codeshare agreement is in effect, flyers will be able to buy a single ticket, from either airline, that connects them on both Qantas and Air New Zealand flights.
Given that many New Zealand airports are only served by Air New Zealand and Qantas low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, the deal allows Qantas to effectively take a share of a significant portion of available connections between Australia hubs and New Zealand communities.
Air New Zealand will add its code to 85 Qantas domestic routes, which could make Air New Zealand a more competitive access gateway to Australian destinations. The airlines will also share ground services at some airports.
A spokesperson at Virgin Australia, which serves five New Zealand airports from its focal points in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, slammed the deal as anti-competitive.
“With the two major players in the New Zealand domestic market in partnership together, there’s no real competition in New Zealand and it is the consumer that will lose out,” the airline told The New Zealand Herald (Auckland).
It’s not clear if the new partnership will expand options to redeem mileage awards. Air New Zealand and Qantas are part of competing Oneworld and Star Alliance partnerships, which don’t share award availability.
Point Me To The Plane inquired about the availability of joint Air New Zealand and Qantas award redemption but has not received a response at this time.
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