Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand end trans-Tasman alliance

By Chris Chamberlin, April 4 2018
Virgin Australia, Air New Zealand end trans-Tasman alliance

Air New Zealand has pulled the plug on its trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia, with the two airlines set to part ways from October 28, 2018.

The move will see an end to codeshare arrangements on each other's trans-Tasman flights and is also likely to impact lounge access, earning of frequent flyer points and status credits and other reciprocal perks of Velocity and Airpoints frequent flyer status.

In its place: a fierce competition between the two airlines, which will now be free to set their own schedules and pricing in a battle for their share of passengers ‘across the pond’.

A spokesperson for Virgin Australia told Australian Business Traveller that details such as airport lounge access in the post-AirNZ era were “still to be worked through”.

As for Air New Zealand, a spokesperson for the airline "we’re working through our commercial arrangements with Virgin Australia for the period post-alliance and will make more information available on that when we can."

Passengers who have already booked a Virgin Australia codeshare flight on Air New Zealand (or vice versa) will be contacted to make new arrangements.

Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said that "Australia is the largest source of inbound visitors to New Zealand and Air New Zealand has built up a significant presence in this market."

"This move will enable us to deliver a more consistent customer experience by using our own fleet and delivering an improved schedule, which we’ll provide more details about shortly."

Wallace recently said Air New Zealand would roll out more Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s across the Tasman, adding not only more capacity onto the market but international-grade business class and premium economy seats.

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti responded by saying the split "provides opportunities for the Virgin Australia Group on the Tasman, including operating both the Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia brands in the market."

“Virgin Australia will continue its strong focus on providing competition and outstanding service on the Tasman, which remains an important part of our network and strategy as an airline group."

From dating to divorce...

The alliance between Virgin and Air New Zealand against common enemy Qantas began in 2010 but has grown increasingly distant over the past years, with other aspects of the tie-up having already been wound back.

Early 2016 saw Air New Zealand CEO Chris Luxon call for Virgin boss Borghetti to resign over the airline's financial performance. When Luxon's putsch failed, the Kiwi carrier sold off its 25.9% stake in Virgin Australia but pledged the trans-Tasman alliance would remain.

However, later that year saw Virgin Australia passengers turfed out of Air New Zealand's Australian lounges except when travelling to New Zealand, with these travellers spread across a maze of other lounges instead: including Virgin Australia's domestic lounge in Melbourne prior to some international flights.

In July 2017 Velocity Frequent Flyer members lost the ability to earn or redeem Velocity points on Air New Zealand's major international flights, such as from Auckland to Los Angeles or Houston, nor could status credits be earned or lounge access enjoyed prior to those same flights.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

12 Jun 2011

Total posts 149

I guess that's one less lounge for Velocity members to worry about getting into...

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

Predict tiger will be flying to invercargill very soon as an alternate to busy & expensive Queenstown plus if virin can find a few aircraft they should do seasonal flights akl lax or akl sfo or akl yvr

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Wow... And with Etihad set to remove their stake in VA, let's see how their future looks

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

This is definitely not confirmed

24 Oct 2010

Total posts 2432

Let's not promote rumour as fact, aklrunway - Etihad is not "set to remove its stake in Virgin Australia", this remains 100% speculation.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Guess we'll see then!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 352

Friends no more, something VA can ill afford I would have thought. Their virtual network is starting to look a bit shaky.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 403

"starting to" ????? It's been a shambles for quite a while.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Feb 2012

Total posts 31

This is really sad. i am beyond frustrated with the VA offering and the constant switching!!!

29 Mar 2017

Total posts 16

Can't help wonder if they'll need to join an alliance. While I think their product is superior to Qantas, it's a big negative to not have an alliance to extend FF benefits.


Maybe this will be the catalyst to finally build a lounge in Sydney and Melbourne?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 5

"Star Alliance"

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2017

Total posts 53

HNA can't even afford their own fuel now, interesting to see how things will turn into.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Jun 2013

Total posts 24

What's HNA?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Feb 2013

Total posts 54

Virgin shareholder, Hainan Airlines.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

the fuel bill has since been paid.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 334

I can't help but think another nail in the coffin.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

14 Mar 2017

Total posts 152

This devalues both players, neither of which now have a partner in the other's market. Appears crazy at face value, but is likely to damage VA more than Air NZ. Watch this space?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 3

Knew things were rocky but this a big move. Can’t see how Virgin can survive internationally. What happens to AirNew Zealand’s feeder traffic from Australia and vis versa?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

NZ would likely use their own A320s to regional ports in AU. As for interline to other regional ports not reachable from NZ with their A320s, most likely back to QF and/or interline arrangements with the regionals (e.g REX and Alliance).

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

basically for Auckland that is what they do for NZ ex ADL to use one example we have a mix of 787's and A320's a handful of times a week.so for their smaller hubs why not for ex Wellington and Christchurch for all except Perth once the new A321's come into existence try the same format.it doesn't bother me much since if i book the right fare class using SQ KRISFLYER(I need to sign up again)for any NZ travel I could switch it over to Velocity assuming the partnership for frequent flyers still exists.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

13 Jun 2013

Total posts 24

I'd say they carry the feeder traffic themselves, they've got more than enough flights and will probably reschedule to cover any loss from VA flights.


21 Nov 2014

Total posts 3

Who will AirNZ use for it's Australian Domestic links now?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

possibly back to Qantas.


Currently if you try to book to/from non VA destinations you'll end up on a QF flight and obviously no perks for NZ Gold.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Interestingly NZ has pulled all VA codeshare flights off their website. You'd think they'd at least sell those flights but with a VA flight number for the meantime (until the mess is sorted out).


The QF flights sold by Air NZ to places like Bundaberg and Alice Springs remain.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

Only va fly bne zqn

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Bahahaha. Perfectly timed to exemplify exactly why VA's 'boutique' network is NOT anything close to being part of a proper alliance.

"A spokesperson for Virgin Australia told Australian Business Traveller that details such as airport lounge access in the post-AirNZ era were “still to be worked through”
Translation: US$40 food stamps coming to Sydney International Airport.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

Were you not only yesterday saying that VA would not be welcome in an alliance because they have nothing to offer?

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Yes, their program is terrible and getting worse (as exemplified by today’s announcement). Good luck begging an alliance for membership.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

There are airlines in both star and skyteam with significantly smaller fleet size and lounge network than virgin. Plus with arguably less significant air routes (mel - Syd one of the busiest routes globally). Not sure they will need to beg... They'll just need to pay their necessary start up costs should they join.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

VA’s international lounge network is ZERO. They have none. Pretty hard to get smaller than that.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

As I have stated, VA's fleet size and their ASK's are significantly higher than some Star & ST members. There are some members who only do regional European flights, which effectively aren't really international and same goes for their 'lounge' networks. You are completely fascinated at lounges... the lounge network size is a only small part of what an airline brings to alliance (access to markets, like Europe, India, China, US and in this case Australia).


Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

As a customer, the lounge network is THE major benefit of alliance membership. QF would be far less appealing were it not part of OW.


I couldn’t care less about the airline’s access to markets. I’m the customer not the ceo.

Those other smaller airlines you speak of ARE alliance members. VA is not. And that is why the VA experience sucks.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 203

Ah SQ lounge, EY lounge - as David has stated don’t speculate and give opinions that are not warranted. Give facts.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Oh I’m sorry, is speculation against Ausbt rules?


And SQ/EY is fact? Have VA announced lounge access for pts on trans Tasman flights? Oh you mean you’re speculating...

The only fact here is that VA passengers have zero certainty about lounge/access and perks for upcoming flights. It’s all subject to the current state of their ‘boutique network’.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 203

Miyagi - My response was to your comment “Translation: US$40 food stamps coming to Sydney International Airport.”

Allow me to clarify - a more plausible concept would be VA adopting
SQ or EY lounges like they currently do rather then give out food stamps as suggested by your biased approach towards VA. Agree to speculate - but not when every single comment you make is just because you seem to loathe a particular airline.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Well considering VA historically has offered food stamps at LAX despite the presence of Star Alliance AND EY lounges would suggest my 'speculation' is a distinct possibility!

And in post Stalin era, one is allowed to have an opinion even if others disagree.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 203

You refer to a very temporary situation which only affected Gold FF travelling economy. Due to Star alliance not renewing VAs lounge contract due to increased member airlines moving to TBT. For years star alliance airlines like COPA and Avianca operated from terminal 2 and 3 at LAX and offered no lounge access at all even to business - and they belonged to an alliance. It’s not all doom and gloom as you make it out to be.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

I don't recall QF passengers ever being subject to such desirable "very temporary situations"? Who cares what the reason for the food stamps situation was? At the end of the day "gold" FFers had the privilege of eating 50 sausage mcmuffins whilst waiting for flights.

Well obviously if a SA lounge is operating out of terminals without any SA lounges, then they get no access! Dah.

Alliance membership guarantees you access to the entire alliance network of lounges. It doesn't guarantee that every airline has to build you a lounge at every airport terminal...


05 Jan 2018

Total posts 38

I reckon VA and its management are in deep speculation too...

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

The SQ lounges are great.I have not been to one in years but on the times I have I have to say I was impressed.ADELAIDE was not much to write home about but ex Singapore was amazing.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

sometimes at sydney airport the food you can buy there is better than the stuff in the lounge.can't speak for the international but got to love terminal 2(the VA terminal there)and the mini food court so much variety and choice.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

This is just another nail in the coffin of VA. It is noteworthy that it was ANZ that pulled the pin and not VA.


I hope that ANZ increases its offerings ex BNE now that they have unshackled themselves from the sinking ship. It would be excellent if they could offer a direct service to WLG.

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

That has to happen - one upside to all of this is getting the ANZ A320 product on BNE-WLG instead of the VA 738s! I just hope they maintain frequency and don't put the 789 on the route - I doubt that would make sense in Wellington anyway given the restrictions on the strip.

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

Anything is possible - NZ as of today now operates the 789 on AKL-CHC-AKL.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

what about Brisbane/Queenstown ? All VA at moment.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jul 2017

Total posts 6

I see this is a major blow to the Velocity (Virgin) network. Velocity membership is consistently being devalued with the constant changes by Virgin, now more than ever it needs to be part of Star Alliance.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

01 Mar 2012

Total posts 175

I'm hoping that as well. I'm booking flights to Cancun for family Christmas and the Air NZ res person who I use said this afternoon that they are hoping that the existing code shares are matched with NZ metal. Fingers crossed the 0630 to AKL still exists.

I don't agree with the comments on VA's demise from others above. It is purely commercial and doesn't reflect the priorities for each airline. NZ has been pulling away for a while and continues on their boutique airline model. Its a pity as I'm a VA plat however NZ were kind enough to status match due to previous flying so I have stayed with them for flights to the US, especially given the timings are perfect sleeping flights for our toddler. Now if VA pulled away from SQ then that would be an issue....

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jun 2017

Total posts 42

They definitely need to become part of Star Alliance if they want to survive long term. Reality is, VA will rely on DL and SQ to survive as they have tighten their alliance with them... however, looks like band-aid solution... not long term. Their closeness with DL clearly indicates that they are not willing to join *A, as it means that they would need to rely on United for their US' offerings.

Time will tell if they will change their mind about joining an alliance. Clearly, this is making Velocity FF program, far from appealing. Not to count how EY has been cost cutting...

Seems like Air NZ will be able to expand, but also makes QF a silent winner as most of Air NZ's connections within Australia will fall to them.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

Virgin will more likely be a SkyTeam member with rumours of DL taking up a stake in VA in the future as they have burnt bridges with NZ and UA (back in the Godfrey days).

15 Sep 2012

Total posts 92

This could be interesting! Now Air Nz won't have Virgin domestic feed will we see new/ more ANZ services with a320s to places like Canberra, Hobart and Adelaide?

This is going to hurt Virgin and would not be surprised to hear it was Air NZ that wanted split

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 120

Aniljak - I think that's exactly what you'll see. AirNZ with a small increase in seats to the major capitals, but adding those cities you have mentioned. Starting with Canberra, and possibly more new destinations.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

it will be interesting seeing NZ after all these years return to Hobart.they had a christchurch service for a number of years till the 737-200's were replaced by 737-300's and all services regardless of where you came from in NZ or were going to were to Melbourne where you initially got Ansett or when they went bust Qantas and now VA Onwards to Tasmania and did the same returning.

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

What a shame. As someone who has no status on AirNZ (and wouldn't want to build it up given the poor earning on Airpoints) all this will do is push my Trans Tasman travel on to Virgin metal (or Qantas). Why would I keep flying AirNZ for biz trips if no points or lounge access? So a bad move for both airlines, but AirNZ will lose access to a significant frequent flyer base in Australia. Obviously they know that and have factored it in to their decision, but will be interesting to see how it works out for them. I wouldn't say this is all doom and gloom for Virgin, as long as their Australian trans Tasman FFs don't defect to AirNZ - and given the Airpoints program is so uncompetitive I can't see that happening...

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

I don’t understand why you wouldn’t have lounge access if you are travelling business with ANZ or already have sufficient status.

Zac
Zac

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 May 2014

Total posts 128

Sorry - business travel - not business class. My trans-tasman business travel is in flexible economy (Freedom / Works etc).


But I do have a choice of carrier - Virgin, AirNZ or Qantas - and with no status on AirNZ I wouldn't choose them - it will be Virgin (mainly) or Qantas (if price/schedule are much better than Virgin on the day).

04 May 2016

Total posts 34

Hey VA just hurry up and join *A (if they will let you). Lots of people not wedded to QF/OW would welcome a reason to go VA domestically. (Star) Alliance membership would be a good reason.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Your key statement is "if they will let you". Contrary to the protestations of VA fanbois, I would highly doubt if SA is interested in touching VA with a 50 foot pole. All that would invite is flooding of other members' lounges and facilities with desperate VA FFers as they realise their own program is devaluing faster than bitcoin.

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

Your irrationally anti-Virgin mindset continues to amaze me. The head of Star Alliance is literally quoted as saying VA would be a good fit.

https://australianaviation.com.au/2015/09/star-alliance-boss-describes-virgin-australia-as-great-fit/

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

2015. That’s 3 years to realise SA dodged a bullet.


But hey don’t listen to my ‘irrationally anti-VA mindset’. I’m sure it’s entirely normal for airlines to be dropped by partners like flies, offer food stamps instead of international lounges and offer doggie bags as a ‘perk’ of their superlative domestic lounge service. Qantas does it the above all the time...oh wait...

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

Except you have no proof that SA does not want VA, despite making that assertion. In fact, the VA offerring is more substantial now than it was in 2015, with more routes now. So it makes absolutely no sense that SA would want VA in 2015, but not now

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

I don’t need proof. I care about the customer experience not hypotheticals. The fact is they aren’t part of SA and as such their program is subject to extreme volatility in terms of codeshares/lounge access/reciprocal benefits.


You can harp on and claim that VA is ‘too good’ for SA till the cows come home but at the end of the day they ARENT part of an alliance and the kind of disruption outlined in this article rarely happens to alliance members.

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

If you're going to make assertions, you need some sort of supporting evidence if you actually want to be taken seriously

Another thing you could do to be taken seriously is not put words in the mouths of others. If you actually paid attention to what I have said, you'd realise I did not say VA is 'too good' for SA, but that the financial value proposition is not there for VA. Point me to an airline that has fully joined an alliance in the last 3 years.

On that note, if you think that this sort of disruption rarely happens to alliance members, I'm guessing you weren't paying much attention to what happened to AirBerlin or Alitalia or Ansett or BMI or Aer Lingus or Malev or Canadian Airlines just to name a few.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Fair enough. Here’s your ‘proof’: https://www.executivetraveller.com/star-alliance-says-it-won-t-chase-virgin-australia-to-join-up


Doesn’t sound like SA is too keen on VA as of last year! (Note 2017 NOT 2015).

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

And I couldn’t care less if you take me seriously. Look at the influx of comments begging for VA to join an alliance! The customers are the ones that need to be taken seriously!

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1259

I'm not sure anyone is saying they don't want Virgin to join an alliance.


You are saying the alliances won't touch them and then saying that virgin should join one to please it's customers.

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

Yes. They aren’t mutually exclusive statements. VA needs to join an alliance to provide service stability to its customers. But at the same time which alliance would want them? They have nothing to offer except connections to popular destinations of world travellers such as Mackay, Broome and Launceston.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Apr 2013

Total posts 11

Gees I must be on a different planet, just landed in LA with VA1. VA staff from check in to landing 11 out of 10, the product makes the others look ordinary.

Lounges I never had a problem, if your up to speed with avaition alliance are on the way out. I’ve stopped trying to work out the OW do’s and don’t even when they try and bluff you.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

don't even get me started on one world.what a joke half the time.Qatar Airways stuff me about big time when I joined their frequent flyers to the point I got fed up and opted out deciding to switch camps to American.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

VA will more likely be a SkyTeam member in the future if Borghetti changes his mind about an Alliance and the rumours that DL are circling for a VA stake to take them towards SkyTeam and away from Star. VA has since burnt bridges with NZ and UA (from their Virgin Blue days) to join Star now.

JBL
JBL

01 Jun 2016

Total posts 60

Out of curiousity, how reputable is the source you heard the rumour from? It would be interesting to see VA pulled into Skyteam, and the whole JV Delta/Air France/KLM/Virgin Atlantic have going on atm

14 May 2011

Total posts 4

From what I understand this all stems from AirNZ not agreeing with Borghettis strategies.

VA offering was less with first phase of FF recipricoty (pacific) and now significantly less so with this final reduction.
I have long thought it but I think Borghetti is the issue. No profits, constantly changing priorities with some of he basics not up to scratch (I’m referring to incompetent/untrained call Centre taking ‘platinum calls’ as one of many)
I’ve been so loyal since the beginning, but they sure don’t make a compelling case to stick with their offer :-(

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Virgin have made comments about Tiger entering the NZ market, so I guess we'll be seeing them on the Tasman to replace some of the lost services

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Nov 2011

Total posts 132

I really wish they'd just join *A. It would make everything much easier from the customer/FF perspective.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

VA joining *A is all but over. NZ and UA would veto any attempts by any airline to sponsor VA into *A.


Since VA have been chummy with DL and started connecting with VS again, SkyTeam is VA's only realistic "alliance" option if Borghetti is to move away from his no alliance policy.

VA will need to rethink their "qualifying" levels for Gold and Platinum as without a "top up" from overseas partners, it is a lot of status credits to earn.

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 77

So suddenly fewer VA golds? Is that what everyone has been wanting on this website? It will restore the exclusivity of being a Gold member

Mr Miyagi Banned
Mr Miyagi Banned

18 Jan 2018

Total posts 63

"Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti responded by saying the split "provides opportunities for the Virgin Australia Group on the Tasman, including operating...Tigerair Australia brands in the market."

Who in their right mind who miss flying AirNZ when Tigerair is available on the same routes? Lol.
oxy
oxy

03 May 2017

Total posts 23

Just like Jetstar

13 Mar 2017

Total posts 4

The only reason I flew Air NZ was to get the Velocity points/status credits. No reason to do so now, so will stick with Virgin on the trans tasman flights. I agree with Zac above that Air NZ loses access to a big FF base and I wonder how many think similarly.

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 169

Gosh I wish they would join *A.

They won't join *A

bmc
bmc

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

22 Aug 2013

Total posts 169

I hope i'm wrong :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

Chances of that is virtually nil and the FF's hope of VA joining *A is basically over.


SkyTeam is VA's only option (with their long time buddies at DL) if Borghetti is to move away from his no alliance policy.

Even if a existing *A member (SQ or someone else) tries to sponsor VA into *A, NZ and UA will just use their veto to block VA's entry.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2017

Total posts 3

Could virgin star operating domestically again in nz? Nice to have VA wide body a330s to NZ especially ChCh.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

19 Jan 2018

Total posts 95

Not a chance. They barely have sufficient A330s as it is to service existing routes.

28 Dec 2016

Total posts 69

Delta can sponsor them for a skyteam membership..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Jan 2015

Total posts 75

I suspect if VA were to join *A (which it probably won't) then the elite qualification criteria might have to be raised... at the moment 2 return J flights SYD/SIN will pretty much get you to gold while *G on SQ requires about 5 return trips. For SYD/AKL, 4 return trips on VA J for gold while *G on NZ requires about 8 return..

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Jan 2013

Total posts 3

It has been obvious for some time that this split was likely to happen sooner rather than later.

Virgin Australia are working closely with Delta across the Pacific (hence the changes to frequent flyer in November 2016) , with Air NZ in bed with United.
It is more likely that VA will jump (or SHOULD) get in bed with Sky Team - which would make their product much more accessible in Australia (currently - not many options on Skyteam!!).
As Virgin Atlantic now effectively under Delta's control also, this brings the Virgin brand closer to Skyteam, so it would be very odd for VA to join Star Alliance.
They are competing with NZ and UA across the Pacific from Star Alliance, Qantas and American from oneworld, and already in partnership with Delta who are, without doubt, the better of the 3 major US carriers by far.

This is a win for consumers and a win for both airlines. A few teething issues - nothing more. Virgin will have something up their sleeve!


30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

Yes but Skyteam have an awful reputation as being made up of members who weren't good enough for Oneworld or Star. VA are in a very complicated, messy situation already - there would need to be huge strategic changes for them to join an alliance.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 43

This will mean more Air NZ direct services to Perth which will be great.
Maybe a year round daily flight to Christchurch and a Wellington flight maybe.
Now their new Perth lounge is stating to make sense.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Aug 2017

Total posts 23

Virgin actually may not care that much.

Only Australians using Air NZ to NZ would probably not have any frequent flyer airline.
I think VA will need some A330’s to
compete. Maybe some from Etihad.
If QF, VA, flying A330’s Air NZ may be struggling to get Australian passengers.
The Tasman is going to be fierce completion now that’s for sure.

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

NZ currently uses the 787,777 fleets on the Tasman and today have said this will increase.

Virgin learned from Ansett, don't let Air NZ control you

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

More like Air NZ learnt from Ansett... NZ are making cash, VA isn’t/hasn’t and needed more and more cash injections from its owners. NZ wasn’t after control, they were seeking a return on the investment.


Let’s call it for what it is - VA are more like AN every day: mixed up fleet, bloating costs, unprofitable. If they joined *A they could be AN with a different paint scheme. Admittedly VA are trying to fix these issues but they’ve been trying since they changed from DJ. NZ simply couldn’t wait any longer.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

Nz were completely broke & bailed out by nz govt

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

Yes they were. 17 years ago though and hence my comment that they learnt from the AN episode and pulled the pin on VA as it was a drain on NZ's cash and wasn't providing a return. NZ of today is a far different and better run airline.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

The NZ/AN episode was a different management at the time.


Sir Selwyn Cushing from Brierley Investments (the then owners of NZ) was 'NZ's version of Borghetti' by using his first refusal to block SQ from buying News Ltd's 50% stake of AN at the time, despite knowing fully well that they didn't have the financial capital to fix a "ailing" AN. All because of his ego at the time.

QF

02 Nov 2012

Total posts 41

Only because AN almost broke them. Never buy something Rupert wants to sell....

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

so it was air nz that bought ruperts share of the airline only to see it stuffed up.he is a smart business man but made a bad choice here.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

the problems were there way before NZ entered the picture in 1996.The Noah's ark fleet and everything else that came with it.it should have been a mix of MD80's and derivatives over at AN to replace the older 727'S AND DC9'S,757's for the middle gap in the eighties instead of waiting till 1988 for the A320 and the 767 as the wide body which proved the only wise move they made in the abeles/murdoch era.instead what we got was a mix of 727/737/767/A320 and much later down the track 747's which were unnecessary.

01 Apr 2013

Total posts 1

Both SQ and UA have reasonable FF member bases in Australia so pretty sure those FFs will move to Air NZ in preference to VA for Trans-Tasman flights.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 282

Certainly are opportunities for VA to grow business across the Tasman, TSV, MCY, NTL could be possibilities for Tiger to open up new routes, particularly AKL with late night flights instead of competing on the main routes with VA metal.

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

Many things may be 'possible' but what would the yield per seat be from or to some of these locations? And how much demand is there? Seats have to be sold at an acceptable fare to both airline and passengers year round.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 80

Looking forward to less expensive fares with the suggested increase in competition, highly likely though that I will not be flying on Tiger as suggested by one news outlet today. I'll stick to the pointy end on one of the apparently many different types of plane, seat, service that all are talking about, but being from a regional centre serviced by QF and ZL, I expect it will be a fairly simple discussion and it will not be 'sweet or savoury'...!!!

QantasFF

16 Nov 2012

Total posts 57

I understand AirNZ are able to fly domestically in Oz, they can be their own domestic link.

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

Any nz airline can fly domestically in oz much easier than any oz airline as they don't have to deal with casa who are extremely dodgy

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

Robj is correct - NZ could fly here if they wanted under the open skies treaty.


flyOFTEN- I’d love to know why you think CASA are dodgy? They, like all govt departments, could improve but the safety standards imposed by CASA are world class. Evident by the lack of significant crashes in this country.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

they came very close when Paul Keating was the PM.It was his wife that work with NZ's future partner United Airlines in those days.one can only imagine if NZ had been allowed to been the third player in the market post Compass years before the likes of Virgin,Tiger and Jetstar were even planned.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 May 2011

Total posts 356

Just did a search coming this way (Dawrin to Auckland) and from October 28th onwards it says no flights available. Going your way (Auckland to Darwin) it's still showing Virgin flights

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 448

It's long overdue for Borghetti to move on. He's done some great things with VA but for the last year or two the airline has seemed completely directionless. The only success seems to have been growing and further monetising Velocity by selling off and outsourcing much of its management, strategy and marketing.


The growth into Asia has been painfully slow and from all reports, not remotely profitable (they're not making money with 50% Y loads of $500 sale fares). If HNA want VA to grow in Asia I cannot understand why they can't lease VA both slots and A330s to grow their Asian presence far more quickly. I know nothing happens quickly in aviation (look how long QF took to get its Dreamliners) but when you have a powerhouse investor with plenty of assets, scale and influence it beggars belief that VA can't set am ambitious strategy and then execute it.

JB has repeatedly said VA will not join a global alliance so I believe this is his personal view and a change of CEO is needed before VA has any chance of joining Star. What exactly does JB have left to accomplish at VA that he hasn't yet done? It's time for some fresh ideas at the airline.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

With Borghetti been chummy with DL, VS and interline arrangements with other SkyTeam partners, it'll be more likely they'll join SkyTeam than Star. Also, the general hostility between UA and VA since the pre-Borghetti days also makes Star less likely.

Any attempts by any airline to sponsor VA into Star would be veto-ed by NZ and UA for numerous reasons.

29 Aug 2013

Total posts 60

HNA can't pay their fuel bill at the moment, that's not much of a powerhouse.


What does JB have left to achieve? Maybe a profit. He hasn't had a lot of luck in that area. Fresh ideas are needed for sure.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

you can't make money off fares that cheap.Selling fares at 1970's levels to hong kong does not work long term.i was going through some papers back in the day for a trip my old man did there in 1976 and all up with hotel and the lot flying TAA/CATHAY PACIFIC $817 which if you take inflation into account since then it would be closer to $3000 with the main carriers.

bmj
bmj

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

Spent the last couple of years going SYD-AKL every month - using both AirNZ and VA. Can't help but feel AirNZ are on a roll, profitable, new aircraft, new services. I think they're about to make some serious in-roads into the Australian domestic market at the expense of VA.

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 92

Yes, I like NZ too. Their lounges are the best out there. But, can't seem them trying domestic Australia. Imagine the cost and logistics. All the terminals are locked down... although they could do the golden triangle of Badgery's/ Avalon/ Toowomba ;)

16 Jan 2018

Total posts 2

I’m VA Platinum and have frankly found it next to worthless. Am switching all to SQ as a couple of J class trips a year to Europe (SQ) and US (ANZ) gives me Star Alliance Gold.. with great service. interested to see if anyone thinks I’m missing a trick?

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

you would be better off switching to a star alliance frequent flyer program such as thai.i did two trips on them albeit in economy and the miles earned helped a hospital in bangkok.have not sadly got around to using them since but would love to.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

But Thai doesn't provide benefits on VA flights.


KrisFlyer Elite Gold cardholders are eligible for
- Priority Baggage, Boarding and Check In
- An extra bag on VA flights
- Lounge access at VA operated lounges for self plus guest (including Premium Entry in Brisbane and Sydney)

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

in that case become a krisflyer.I am thinking of signing up again and was supposed to for an upcoming trip to Europe given one of my sectors would have been on Lufthansa but the rest on Singapore Airlines.coming home would be 100% singapore airlines.stupid me for listening to the agency that told me to hold out for the cheaper fares that i missed out on.i should have got the SQ flights when I had the chance.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

no you're not... I've got VA Gold and doing a couple of NZ Business flights along with some other Star Alliance flights which will get Gold with Air NZ by the end of the year (a good thing after this somewhat expected announcement).


For the most part you'll get the majority of perks you'll used to on VA. Probably the one you'll miss the most are the preferred seating (loss of Economy X which makes me pick VA over QF domestically), FlyAhead and a limited guesting ability (only one guest who is also meant be flying).

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 92

Sure, if you fly SQ to Europe and/or Asia more than VA domestically, status with SQ is better than velocity.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

true to that and you can switch the points over.it's easier if you use SQ there plus earn points for things like fuel at BP,Purchases at autobarn,car servicing at midas and sometimes flights on VA it all adds up.they have this silly agreement on velocity regarding flybuys with a catch.you would need to do a lot of kmart or coles shopping to get any benefits there to be able to switch your points across.

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 92

Whose got more to loose here? Let's look at this.

VA loose NZs feed into their domestic network (potentially), but that would seem to hurt NZ by putting more people onto QF, who are their real competitor on the trans tasman, pacific and to the Americas. Plus NZ FFs have no reciprocity domestically in Australia. Maybe that's not an issue as most traffic is point to point? But overall, this hurts NZ more I think.

NZ may loose VA's feed into their domestic network, particularly if VA introduce more point to point flights... especially if they leverage TZ, noting as VA transition to 737MAX, TZ may pick up more ex VA 737NGs on cheap leases.

I fly both VA, NZ, and QF regularly in economy across the Tasman. For economy, QFs is the best as there are no 'bolt on's, i.e food is included'. NZ and VAs narrowbody's are identical in economy but VA actually offers business. So, NZ are going to need to introduce more 787/777s to cover the gap, which is good, but what about their new A321 NEOs? Don't hold your breath for more than a couple of extra widebodies, and that may be clawed back as the A321NEOs need to find homes. But, QF are doing the same (as EK withdraws) and won't sit back allowing NZ to capture share. And JQ are getting a bunch of A321NEOs too. And don't forget all the other airlines flying across the Tasman.

To the US, VA's business class is best of the three (although I haven't yet been on QFs 789s business). PE is great on VA, and NZ, ahead of QF (although yet to experience QF 789s). And connecting to DL via LAX is easy and DL are better than UA and AA (IMO). Yes, NZ try (and do) pick up some Aus based traffic to the Americas via AKL, but I'd think that would be budget hunters (NZ seem to be cheaper than QF and VA to the US from Australia), or NZ FFs based in Australia.

As mentioned already NZ loose access to VA's large FF members. And VA have an established airline in NZ already, so they can quickly expand that if needed. With the 737 MAXs coming, perhaps this (along with the withdraw of A332s from trans con), may see VA actually convert some slots to MAX 9s or MAX 10s, with a better business, economy X and economy product, for use on trans con and trans Tasman.d

So, I see this as more a negative for NZ than VA, but both loose from this. QF is the winner. I'd like to think NZ have run the numbers on this, leveraged all the data and know a lot more than us traveling public. I'd hate to think this is the result of a personality clash between both airline CEOs... I mean it's not like airlines have a history in this regard ;)

As for alliances, why would VA join Star? Apart from their relationship with SQ, there is no logical tie in, plus Star already have NZ for this part of the world. SkyTeam makes more sense, and as mentioned already VX are getting close to DL, and VAs push into HK opens alignment with VX, or even Air France for broader or Europe. If SQ push back, then VA have Europe options a plenty (via EY, VX and the Chinese carriers in Skyteam), and as for Asia, they could switch to the Chinese carriers in Sky Team, and look to operate their own flights to SIN, Japan and of course HK. Plus a move into Sky Team would allow those airlines to consolidate lounges in Australia, perhaps all under VA branding. Then VA gets international access to Sky Team lounges. Maybe we'd then see DL flights into AKL to compete with UA, and AA. And perhaps even into MEL or BNE to compliment VA. Oh, and should SQ, HNA, or EY go bust or want to sell, DL would be ready.

Lastly, there was rumour that VA would pick up non utilised A330s from Etihad, on the cheap. So, a few more A330s, used into HK, Singapore, Japan, and maybe even trans Tasman. Longer term, a fleet 787s could cover all the needs of VA, allowing for fleet commonality and growth, and whether it be out of the ME2, or even via SQ in 10 years as they churn their 787s, VA could pick these up cheap-ish.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

17 Nov 2017

Total posts 8

if they ever did join an alliance I think it would be star as sq is a major star alliance and part owner

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 259

As stated previously, NZ and UA would just use their veto to stop any airline making an attempt to sponsor VA into *A due to many differences.

15 Feb 2018

Total posts 46

Did I hear Air New Zealand are going to start flying domestically in Australia? Any idea of the airports and routes to be covered?

24 Apr 2015

Total posts 129

Nz could fly triangular route eg. Akl cbr cns akl with one crew

A spokesperson for Virgin Australia told Australian Business Traveller that details such as airport lounge access in the post-AirNZ era were “still to be worked through”. Shock horror if they continued using NZ lounges in some or all ports.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

07 Dec 2014

Total posts 167

Aren't there contract lounges available in most of the major NZ ports?


Anyway, I would think VA would move to rejig its Trans-Tasman operation, so need fewer lounges. Surely VA would be better placed to concentrate its 'premium' capacity into key markets like Auckland (which accounts for well over half the trans-tasman passenger traffic) to provide viable business-traveller competition to AirNZ and Qantas on the major routes; and then deploy Tiger on leisure routes like Queenstown and Dunedin (why it is even serviced at all!?)?

Does Tiger still have spare aircraft, or have they already been disposed of?

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 533

I’m actually really happy about this move, I remember what Air New Zealand did to Ansett. Any Australian supporting Air New Zealand isn’t a true Aussie

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

me too.i hate what NZ did to the Airline Reg Ansett created all those years ago.he died in 1981 and would be appalled at how they killed it and the mismanagement.in my case i would rather fly qantas to sydney and get a codeshare latam 787 onto auckland or try do the same but get the a330's sydney onwards.to quote southpark but for air new zealand oh my god they killed ansett you bastards!!!

bsb
bsb

21 Jul 2011

Total posts 72

I’ve always liked Air NZ. They are smart and innovative - it’s part of their DNA. Just look at how many Int ports they fly to compared to QF (and certainly VA). They’ve always been clever with fleet decisions and despite the post Ansett debacle, have made some decent coin. Good luck to them - interesting new routes to come I expect.


03 Jan 2013

Total posts 50

Air New Zealand (and subsidiaries) serve 20 domestic and 31 international destinations. Fleet A320, A321, 777, 787, ATR, Q300

Qantas (and subsidaries) serve 65 domestic and 31 international destinations. Fleet A320, A321, A330, A380, 737, 747, 787, 717, Dash 8, F100.

Virgin (and subsidiaries) serve 52 domestic and 19 international destinations. Fleet A330, ATR's, 737 and 777.

05 Apr 2018

Total posts 1

Best news ever! Virgin customer service is terrible esp at the airport. More than happy to know if I book air nz I will get air nz!!

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

i have not touch wood have any problems with airport customer service but that's as a domestic VA passenger.how many of us before this have booked code shares on NZ only to find out you are in fact on someone else plane.It never happened to me but I almost for my second new zealand trip booked a AN ADL-MEL AND A NZ MEL-AKL finding out the trans tasman sector was a united 744 in 1998 but was lucky there was another flight later the same day albeit ex melbourne in the evening on a air nz 763 that i was happy to accept in it's place after qantas stuffed my booking up.

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

Unfortunately whichever way you look at it, the Borghetti experiment has failed, VA has had so many different strategies, partners, routes, aircraft and ideas and it’s just not going anywhere, time for a new leader.......clearly QF knew what they were doing when they chose AJ over JB

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

04 Apr 2018

Total posts 10

People are so quick to hate on VA. Yes, Borghetti's stewardship has been questionable, and a $4m half-yearly profit is hardly earth-shattering, but shall we reflect on Qantas's years of massive losses (irrespective of the large write-down in '14). Virgin Australia is a young airline, and it's international owners are clearly in it for the long haul. Plus seeing VA fail is just going to make your QF flights even more expensive.

06 Dec 2017

Total posts 112

i hope they succeed VA.If anything they have brought airfares to a sensible level.i am old enough to remember the days of the family car trips to melbourne as a kid and the horror stories of the overnight train for a school trip from the eighties thanks to old primary school mates on the overland while i for safety reasons went on ansett.check the road death tolls had it not been for virgin and later jetstar and tiger with their cheap flights who knows yearly for interstate trips how many people are killed on the roads.if anything we know each road trip return yearly puts you a lot closer to your cars scheduled service at the end of the day.

02 Dec 2016

Total posts 92

Agree. What Borghetti took on at DJ/VA vs AJ at QF is chalk and cheese. Inf act, AJ should be thanking Borghetti as he was one of the architects and leaders for the strong position Qantas was in.

When Borghetti went to DJ/VA, Qantas were the only premium airline, had all the Govt and corporate contracts, a massive FF base, lounges, international network, all the WA traffic from the mining boom, alliance in One World, etc etc etc. DJ/VA at the time was a budget airline, more akin to JQ than QF.

Borghetti has transformed VA into a world leading airline, strong FF base, lounges, transformed the on board product, had to re-train the staff, etc. Yes, there is more to do, and it cost some serious coin, but it's a tremendous achievement.

Anyone who knows anything about business transformation knows one of these things is tough... let alone all of them.
And don't forget, yes Qantas are doing well now... but remember when AJ grounded the airline, stranding families, the elderly, etc? Oh, and let's not forget the smart accounting for bringing all their debt into one year, so now the financials look a lot better.

I'm a fan of both airlines. We're lucky to have them and want them both to do well.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Feb 2015

Total posts 113

Virgin China airlines coming right up!!!

Qantas

02 May 2016

Total posts 56

@jsm2090, I don’t buy it, some of the QF losses were brought about by many years of union influence and uneconomical labour practices, VA has had none of this. My point was AJ set about on a $2B profit turnaround strategy for QF and guess what, he now has a slimmed down QF delivering record profits, customer service levels and product improving (although some will still complain) Borghetti just keeps promising and nothing changes, his time is up in my view. QF got it right when they chose AJ over JB

jol
jol

02 Jun 2017

Total posts 1

As a regular flyer from BNE to DUD and return where VA operates the only direct flight - my sole concern is lounge access in BNE and DUD which we have been able to enjoy via the ANZ/VA alliance. You need to work out something VA for this cohort of travellers.


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