Qantas and Air New Zealand may be bitter rivals across the Tasman, but they’ve taken everyone by surprise announcing a new codeshare agreement! The partnership commences on 28 October 2018 – the same day that Air New Zealand’s alliance with Virgin Australia ends.
Under the Air New Zealand codeshare agreement, Qantas will place its “QF” code on 30 Air New Zealand domestic routes. This means Qantas customers will be able to seamlessly travel to destinations across regional New Zealand on a single Qantas booking.
Qantas frequent flyers will soon earn Qantas points and status credits on Air New Zealand domestic services when booked in conjunction with an international Qantas flight. Qantas Gold, Platinum and Platinum One frequent flyers will also enjoy access to Air New Zealand lounges when travelling on a Qantas-marketed flight operated by Air New Zealand.
In return, Air New Zealand will codeshare on 85 Qantas domestic services within Australia. This gives Air New Zealand customers access to destinations all across regional Australia including Canberra, Hobart and even Paraburdoo. Airpoints elite members will have reciprocal access to Qantas domestic lounges in Australia when connecting to/from New Zealand with Air New Zealand.
The Air New Zealand codeshare deal extends to 14 destinations across New Zealand including Dunedin, Tauranga, Blenheim, Kerikeri and Rotorua.
The codeshare agreement does not extend to trans-Tasman routes between Australia and New Zealand. Qantas and Air New Zealand will continue to compete across the Tasman. Even if the airlines wanted to co-ordinate fares and schedules on international flights (as Air New Zealand currently does with Virgin Australia), it is extremely unlikely that the necessary anti-trust immunity would be granted by competition regulators. The recently-announced codeshare agreement does not require ACCC approval.
It’s a straight codeshare so doesn’t require ACCC involvement. There is no joint pricing, no joint scheduling, etc. Won’t have any affect on fares as QF and NZ will still compete on the Tasman and other routes like they do now.
The Qantas/Air New Zealand codeshare deal is a further blow for Virgin Australia, which loses access to Air New Zealand’s regional network later this year.
Qantas’ low-cost carrier, Jetstar, already operates services within New Zealand to most major cities and four regional destinations. Qantas passengers can already travel on “QF” codeshares on Jetstar’s New Zealand network. But the Air New Zealand deal opens up even more Kiwi destinations, and comes with the added benefit of lounge access for eligible passengers when travelling within New Zealand.
Qantas and Air New Zealand have traditionally been fierce competitors. So this announcement came as a surprise to most AFF members!
Wow! Just wow! I hate JQ domestic NZ flights almost as much as I enjoy NZ domestic flights (for what they are). The lounges are pretty reasonable as well. This is awesome news! Tut tut, VA.
Bookings will be possible from the end of July.
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