No more than two months after confirming it would end its alliance with Virgin Australia, ABT has confirmed that Air New Zealand will be joining Qantas in a codeshare partnership covering domestic flights within Australia and New Zealand.
The brutal move, intended to “isolate Virgin Australia”, will see Qantas stamp a QF code onto 30 domestic AirNZ services across New Zealand, while Air New Zealand will, in turn, plant its NZ prefix on 85 domestic Qantas flight in Australia – trans-Tasman and other international flights are excluded from the arrangement but you’ll have Qantas steel to get you there anyway.
The new partnership is set to take off on October 28, which is the same day the current alliance between Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand is set to end.
“Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back almost 80 years,” reflected Qantas CEO Alan Joyce at a media briefing this morning. “A codeshare deal on our domestic markets makes sense for our customers because it leverages the strengths we each have in our home markets.”
While Virgin Frequent Flyers are left reeling at the loss of the lovely Air New Zealand lounge in Sydney, Qantas and Air New Zealand Business Class passengers and frequent flyers will enjoy reciprocal lounge access and the ability to earn points and status on appropriately coded flights – a huge win for Qantas frequent flyers.
Bookings on the codeshare QF/NZ services will be available from the end of July, head to ABT for the routes.
Source: Australian Business Traveller