VIRGIN Australia has signed a new unilateral trans-Tasman codeshare agreement with the Kiwi carrier, more than five years after Air New Zealand cut its alliance with VA before inking a reciprocal domestic codeshare agreement with rival Qantas two months later.
The tides have changed, however, with the Aussie carrier recently revealing to travelBulletin that the new deal will provide its customers direct access to Air New Zealand flights into Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.
“This codeshare agreement would complement Virgin Australia’s popular direct Queenstown services by expanding our trans-Tasman footprint with a world-class partner airline our customers know and love,” Virgin Australia Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer Alistair Hartley said.
The proposal was officially submitted to the ACCC and the NZ Ministry of Transport, and, if approved, will offer more opportunities for Virgin’s loyalty members to to earn points across the Tasman and give members more lounge access.
Given that the codeshare arrangement between Qantas and Air New Zealand doesn’t include trans-Tasman flights, it is believed that the Flying Kangaroo won’t be too irked by the new proposal, and is instead considering adding its own 16 trans-Tasman routes in the future.