Air New Zealand adds trans-Tasman flights

By David Flynn, April 9 2018
Air New Zealand adds trans-Tasman flights

Less than a week after announcing the end of its alliance with Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand has fired the first volley in a trans-Tasman war which will see the former partners become rivals.

The Kiwi carrier says it will "introduce additional services" on the Sydney-Auckland, Melbourne-Auckland and Brisbane-Auckland routes from October 28, 2018 – although details of the new flights and the aircraft they'll use remain to be seen.

Christchurch is also getting a leg-up with two flights per day "on peak days of the week" from both Melbourne and Brisbane, and double-daily services on Monday through Friday from Sydney.

From December 2, 2018 the Star Alliance member is also promising flights "up to five times a week" between Brisbane and Wellington – going up against the current Virgin Australia service – plus seasonal flights "up to four times a week" between Brisbane and Queenstown.

Air New Zealand will begin shifting all passengers booked on its codeshare flights with Virgin Australia after 27 October 2018 onto Air New Zealand services "in the next few weeks", the airline says.

"There is no need for customers to do anything, they will be contacted by either the airline or their booking agent regarding any changes."

Read more: How the Virgin, AirNZ split will affect trans-Tasman travellers

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

Excellent news from ANZ to see them acting so quickly to add new services. As I stated last week, I am particularly delighted to see them add a BNE-WLG service. Virgin Australia - eat your heart out.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Apr 2012

Total posts 9

Will customers who booked flights expecting to earn VFF status and points be given the option of cancelling their flights for free?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

If you've booked a flight through Air NZ operated by Virgin across the Tasman you've got the following options


- Rebook on an Air NZ operated service (closest time to Virgin service)
- Free Cancelation
- Change of Destination (fare difference applies)
- Change to a different flight within 72 hours (same route)

If it involves a Virgin connection such as Townsville to Brisbane to Auckland (where the domestic Australian flight is operated by Virgin) then you'll be rebooked on the same Virgin service but with a VA flight number instead. Otherwise the same options above also apply.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Apr 2012

Total posts 9

But I guess if I've booked through Air NZ operated by Air NZ expecting to get VFF points and status I now get nothing.


Obviously as a VFF I'm not going to fly Air NZ without any access to lounges, points or status credits.

MarkJohnSon Banned
MarkJohnSon Banned

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 89

This is terrible news for VA. The Trans-Tasman routes are already very competitive. With AirNZ adding capacity, the competition is going to be intense.


You would have to assume that the trans-Tasman part of VA's operations is, today, financially lucrative. Post October, this will cease to be the case. Whether this earnings hole can be filled, I don't know. I'll be watching with anticipation.

15 Feb 2018

Total posts 46

Was to be expected with Emirates pilling out.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 213

It was expected for some time before Emirates pulled out.

Luxon and JB aren't the best of friends and have been basically been frenemies turned actual enemy since NZ quit the VA board in 2016.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 79

I personally think Air NZ has the better product offering but I have to admit I'm really not enjoying these divorce proceedings. I feel like I'm going to be disadvantaged one way or another, especially if you fly domestically within both countries.

Ah thanks Air NZ for one additional service from our nations capital!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

The new flights are already bookable (on the Air NZ website)

From the Air NZ release

"Auckland – Sydney:

Additional daily service operated predominantly by a wide body aircraft in both directions (NZ109/NZ112).

Auckland - Melbourne:

Additional business timed morning service operated by an A320 in both directions 5-6 times a week. This improves options for same day connectivity from Melbourne to domestic New Zealand (NZ721/NZ720).

Auckland – Brisbane:

Additional evening Auckland-Brisbane service and a morning Brisbane-Auckland service twice a week. This improves the options for same day connectivity between Brisbane and domestic New Zealand (NZ733/732).

Auckland - Gold Coast:

Departure time from Auckland now leaves slightly later to allow regional New Zealand domestic connectivity, NZ937 currently departs at 7.05am and will now depart at 9.25am.

Christchurch - Brisbane:

Additional morning flights in both directions. This means double daily flying for NZ operated flights up to 4 times a week and improves New Zealand domestic connectivity from Brisbane (NZ807/NZ806).

Christchurch - Melbourne:

Additional evening service in both directions (NZ893/896) which means the airline is now offering double daily services up to 6 times a week."

and in addition...

Brisbane to Wellington

4-5 times per week, 6:10am from Wellington arriving 7:00am in Brisbane returning 5:35pm landing back in Wellington at 12:05am+1 (NZ827/NZ828)

Brisbane to Queenstown

3-4 times per week, 3:50pm from Queenstown arriving 4:35pm in Brisbane and departing Brisbane 8:00am arriving Queenstown at 2:30pm. (NZ861/NZ860)

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 50

Looks like the new AKL-SYD timetable is live; with week days looking like.


0700 - 77E
0900 - 77W
1100 - 77E
1300 - 77E
1600 - 77E
1930 - 320

5x daily 777 service on AKL-SYD is pretty impressive, how long can VA try to compete or will we see VA try some A332/77W services on the Tasman?

10 Aug 2015

Total posts 130

Virgin have no resources to put 77W or A332 on AKL. They are already pushing it

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

18 Jun 2013

Total posts 26

I dont VA will play the capacity war with NZ . although it wouldn't surprise me if they move an A332 over to TT ex SYD/MEL - AKL for key travel times . Take 1 a/c off seasonal NAN & Transcon. Definitely not going to do it with the 77W...they are all tied up with LAX.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Aug 2011

Total posts 161

AKL-SYD then all has flat bed business class and a premium economy (exc the one A320 which is all economy anyway) that is more spacious than business on QF or VA on 737s (but not A330s).

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 50

Along with NZ's PE hard product being better than VA J hard product, think you even get an extra 4" leg-room in NZ's PE.


And then the meal service in NZ's PE is pretty good, and if not on level with VA's J (all for half the price)

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 145

More capacity on routes that they'll have to fight to keep, yet still no flights to Canberra, which would have been a clear win on a route SIA has just pulled out of.


I'm not convinced Air NZ has really thought this strategy through...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1213

Yes, because there is tons of demand for CBR-NZ flights.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 155

Where have these spare 777s and A320s come from? Have they recently been delivered, redeployed from other routes, or were they being underutilised?

10 Apr 2018

Total posts 5

2 - 787 and 2 - A320/321neos are scheduled to be delivered Sept/Oct 2018. There are also new routes (Auckland - Chicago) starting around that time but I would say the 777 is getting pulled from Pacific routes.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 181

The AKL/ORD services will be operated by B789's with enhance premium product. This is going to free up a B772 for Trans Tasman and charter services.

I have had a look at Air NZ reservation system there are no longer any B789's between AKL/SYD as from end of October 2018.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Dec 2012

Total posts 46

I think there will be a number of VA passengers, who no longer will get any benefit from flying on NZ, if a VA flight is not convenient will look at a QF option, as I suspect most of us all have a QFF number in our back pocket to at least collect points. May not be the smartest strategy from ANZ

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

NZ know which VA frequent flyers have been spending up big on NZ operated services and some have even got status matches.


I can't see this being very sustainable in the long run though...

If Jetstar (in New Zealand) was able to offer soft perks to Qantas frequent flyers like Priority Checkin/Boarding, Frequent Flyer seats, Priority Baggage etc then NZ would have some problems but for the time being they've really got nothing to worry about.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 181

If think this NZ/VA divorce is to do with NZ's in depth alliance with SQ and UA and other Star Alliance carriers to have standardised all class travel across the Tasman from Asia, the Americas and Europe.

I just hope that NZ gets rid of the outdated 'coffins' in Business Premier.

I will be interesting to how NZ is going to the deploy the 4 A321neo's which are ear marked for Trans Tasman and South Pacific island services.

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

A lot of talk about the doom and gloom for VA, but there's also trouble ahead for NZ


NZ have a major advantage on the trans Tasman routes, with larger planes, name value and lounges. But what they doing is the start of a capacity war.

5x 777s AKL-SYD is to hamper VA gaining a stronger foothold in the market and will not be long term.

You just have to look how the transcon capacity wars hurt carriers, and that was with only 2 players

Depending how negotiations go, NZ is going to lose significant access to Australian markets outside capital cities and even somewhat within by cutting off VFFs

So while this is a big hit to VA, NZ isn't unscathed


Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Air New Zealand adds trans-Tasman flights

Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 216]
Notice (8): Undefined variable: infiniteScroll [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]
Warning (2): Invalid argument supplied for foreach() [APP/views/news/view.ctp, line 222]