Air New Zealand and Etihad have just received approval to codeshare on flights within New Zealand, across the Tasman, between Australia and Abu Dhabi, and from Abu Dhabi to London.
The codeshare agreement -- which comes a month later than expected -- was previously to include Etihad's EY flight numbers on Air New Zealand's flights from Auckland to Beijing, but that route is absent from the approval issued today.
Etihad and Air New Zealand tying up is further strand of the web of codeshare agreements between Etihad, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand. Each of the three airlines now codeshares with the others.
Air New Zealand is the only one of the three carriers currently within a major airline network, as part of the Star Alliance.
As a result of the codeshare agreement, travellers in both the Air New Zealand Airpoints and Etihad Guest frequent flyer programmes can earn and spend on the other airline's flights.
The new codeshare flights will be available to book from 14 April for flights leaving on or later than 18 April.
The Etihad EY flight code will appear on the following Air New Zealand routes:
- Domestic NZ routes between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown
- Trans-Tasman flights between Sydney and Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Rotorua and Queenstown
- Trans-Tasman flights between Brisbane and Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington
- Trans-Tasman flights between Melbourne and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch
Air New Zealand's NZ code will appear on Etihad's flights as follows:
- 11 return flights a week between Sydney and Abu Dhabi
- 7 return flights a week between Melbourne and Abu Dhabi
- 3 return flights a week between Brisbane and Abu Dhabi
- 3 return flights a day between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow
Virgin Blue's long-haul airline V Australia launched its first flight from Sydney to Abu Dhabi just over a month ago as part of Virgin Blue's codeshare agreement with Etihad.