Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Air New Zealand have formed a codeshare alliance that will allow the latter to fly the Auckland-Singapore route again, while enabling SIA to operate the Airbus A380 to New Zealand for the first time.
As per the agreement, the New Zealand flag carrier will take over five flights that are currently operated by SIA and add a further two weekly flights, thereby increasing the frequency to a daily service. The services will be operated by the Boeing 777-200ER, which will sport the new seats seen in the upcoming B787-9 Dreamliner (see here).
Meanwhile, SIA will continue to offer daily flights between the two cities. It will deploy the A380 first on a seasonal basis first, but may eventually completely replace the Boeing 777-300ER currently flying the route.
The aim is to boost both carrier’s capacity between Singapore and New Zealand by up to 30 per cent annually.
The proposed alliance will also offer other benefits for passengers flying on both airlines. Air New Zealand passengers, for instance, would be able to take advantage of Singapore’s role as one of Asia’s strongest transit hubs, and access codeshare travel through SIA’s network to destinations in Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.
In return, SIA customers would likewise be able to enjoy the benefits of accessing codeshare travel across Air New Zealand’s domestic network and to selected international destinations.
The agreement will see Air New Zealand’s "NZ" code return to the Singapore Airlines network for the first time since 2007. The carrier last operated to Singapore in 2006.
Both parties are currently awaiting approval from the Competition Commission of Singapore and the New Zealand Minister of Transport respectively. If all goes well, flights will commence as early as December 2014.