Air New Zealand and Qantas have revealed plans to begin codesharing in each other’s domestic markets, the two airlines announced June 1.
Air New Zealand is believed to have initiated the discussions with Qantas, which took about six weeks to complete.
The two airlines plan to begin their new relationship from Oct. 28, which is when Air New Zealand’s current partnership with Virgin Australia is set to end. Air New Zealand and Virgin had a joint venture on routes between the two countries and codeshare on domestic flights.
The Air New Zealand-Qantas deal will be more limited because it does not cover flights between their countries. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said the two carriers will be “frenemies” that will still compete in international markets. Qantas subsidiary Jetstar already operates domestic flights in New Zealand. These services will not be included in the Air New Zealand codeshare deal, and Qantas will continue to codeshare on the Jetstar flights in New Zealand.
Under their agreement, Air New Zealand will codeshare on up to 85 routes on the Qantas domestic network, while Qantas will codeshare on up to 30 domestic routes in New Zealand. They will also have access to each other’s domestic lounges. The pair noted there is potential for them to “explore [other] areas of mutual interest, including research into biofuels, freight and ground handling opportunities.”
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.
The new association is called Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ
The new agreement with Qantas effectively ends the prospect that Air New Zealand and Virgin could have codeshared in domestic markets after their joint venture partnership concludes. However, Virgin could still interline on New Zealand domestic routes.