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Capacity to Christchurch falls in Air NZ-Virgin alliance plans

Monday 16th May 2011

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Air New Zealand has fleshed out the detail of a signalled alliance with Virgin Australia which includes a 14% reduction in capacity to Christchurch.

The airlines, which are increasing capacity in and out of Wellington by 3.5%, said the reduction in capacity to Christchurch reflected reduced demand because of the earthquakes in the city.

The alliance involves code sharing on Tasman and domestic services, a revenue share agreement and reciprocal loyalty scheme and lounge access arrangements.

Air New Zealand will take over operation of the Auckland-Cairns route and frequency will be matched to projected demand.

Capacity on Air New Zealand Auckland-Adelaide services will increase by 16%, with a daily service in the peak summer months, and Auckland-Perth services will increase to eight times per week, up 4%, over the summer peak.

Pacific Blue will take up Air New Zealand services between Sydney/Melbourne and Dunedin, operating during the December and January peak.

Air New Zealand will assume all Wellington-Sydney flying and Pacific Blue will assume all Brisbane-Wellington flying.

"Regional areas in Australia and New Zealand will also see significant benefits from the alliance, as the two airlines will offer code share flights on each other's domestic services as part of connecting Tasman journeys," Virgin Australia group executive commercial Liz Savage said.

"This will open up regional destinations in both countries like never before, making it easier for regional residents to get across the Tasman and for tourists to access regional destinations in Australia and New Zealand."




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