Earlier today, both Australia and New Zealand's national carriers announced brokering a new codeshare deal set to make travel easier for both flyers here and over the ditch. The deal excludes trans-Tasman flights, on which Qantas will continue to codeshare with its budget Jetstar brand.
Sydney-based airline Qantas has announced plans for a reciprocal codeshare agreement with Air New Zealand in order to make travel within Australia and New Zealand easier.
NZ Herald reports that Air New Zealand codes will be added on up to 85 Qantas routes within Australia while Qantas intends to add its codes on up to 30 domestic Air NZ routes.
Eligible customers will have access to a combined total of 36 domestic lounges on both sides of the Tasman when flying on routes covered by the codeshare agreement.
"Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back nearly 80 years, " he said.
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"We've been partners at various stages over that time and we have a lot of respect for them as a competitor".
The two airlines plan to begin their new relationship from October 28, which is when Air New Zealand's current partnership with Virgin Australia is set to end.
"This will no doubt have flow-on effects for competition on the Tasman, given only the two biggest players who have over 70 percent of the market will be able to codeshare at each end".
Both airlines say there are other potential areas of cooperation, including ground handling, freight and biofuel.
"While the two airlines will continue to compete very strongly across all markets, Air New Zealand and Qantas are known for having a commitment to innovation, customer service excellence, operational performance and safety".
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Air New Zealand and Qantas attempted a more comprehensive alliance in 2003, but was turned down by the Commerce Commission because it was deemed anti-competitive.
"Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back nearly 80 years".
That would have involved Qantas paying $550 million for a 22.5 per cent cornerstone shareholding in Air New Zealand, as both battled in a tough environment immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks.
In March 2017, Air New Zealand and Qantas were among six airlines in the region that founded the an association called the Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ)to lobby on common causes such as airport fees, taxes and infrastructure reform. Air New Zealand would have managed all services of both airlines flying to, from and within New Zealand.
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