Air New Zealand will increase trans-Tasman flights to match recent announcements by Qantas as the airlines continue to slug it out across the pond.
Following this morning's record profit earnings, AirNZ CEO Chris Luxon said that the trans-Tasman alliance between the Kiwi carrier and Virgin Australia "is doing incredibly well, we have about a 52% market share... we’re certainly holding our own and being very competitive across the Tasman."
But with Qantas increasing seasonal flights to New Zealand, Luxon said that "we do have capacity increases planned in the coming years."
"We are continually looking for growth opportunities between the two countries" Luxon told Australian Business Traveller.
"We're constantly fine-tuning our capacity and making the adjustments we need so we can meet demand where we see it between Australia and New Zealand."
"Australian remains a huge opportunity for us. We have around 1.2 million Australians coming across and a similar number of New Zealanders going to Australia, so it's a really important source of future growth for us."
Shoring up the airline's appeal to trans-Tasman travellers will include an extensive upgrade of its lounges at Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland along similar lines to the Star Alliance lounge at LAX, which Air New Zealand built and manages.
The NZ$40 million (A$35.9 million) lounge revamp will also include a new facility for regional flights out of Auckland airport's domestic terminal plus make-overs for regional lounges across New Zealand.
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