Virgin Australia, AirNZ boost Brisbane-Auckland flights

By Chris Chamberlin, December 14 2017

Virgin Australia and its trans-Tasman alliance partner Air New Zealand will ramp up flights between Brisbane and Auckland next year, with up to five additional return flights each week.

Running between April and October 2018, the new flights boost the duo’s offering to up to 34 weekly return flights on the route, as Virgin Australia introduces up to two extra Boeing 737 flights and Air New Zealand up to three further Airbus A320 flights each week.

While AirNZ's A320s only offer economy seating, Virgin Australia's Boeing 737s sport eight business class seats at the pointy end.

AusBT review: Virgin Australia trans-Tasman business class

Virgin Australia will also re-time one of its existing Auckland-Brisbane flights to better-align with Air New Zealand’s flight schedules, with travellers able to depart New Zealand at 4pm, 6pm and 7:30pm on weekdays across both airlines.

Business class passengers plus Velocity Gold and Platinum frequent flyers and AirNZ Airpoints Gold and Elite cardholders will enjoy access to Air New Zealand’s upgraded Brisbane Airport lounge when flying across the pond with either airline…

… and to the Kiwi carrier’s lounge in Auckland before their Brisbane-bound flight:

Air New Zealand Koru Club, Virgin Australia Lounge, United Club and Air Canada Maple Leaf Club Worldwide members also receive lounge access when travelling on an eligible flight, ditto Star Alliance Gold cardholders when flying with Air New Zealand on an NZ or other Star Alliance flight number.

The news follows Emirates’ announcement that it will cease flying its Airbus A380 aircraft between Brisbane and Auckland from March 25 2018, and Qantas’ plan to introduce more Boeing 737 flights of its own between the same cities, along with a daily Airbus A330 service.

SkyTeam alliance member China Airlines runs its own daily Brisbane-Auckland flights using an Airbus A330 as well.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Traveller14

Traveller14

17 Sep 2015

Total posts 391

The lounges look soulless. Carpet (or at least carpet squares) would be welcome, but must have been ditched due to it being costlier to clean.

MRYJDrake

MRYJDrake

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

31 Oct 2016

Total posts 70

The air NZ lounge featured is far from soulless. What you're seeing is the main dining area looking at the buffet bar, there are several other areas in the lounge with carpet, and a million different types of seat.

I'm sure it's reviewed on here, let me try and find it...

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin

24 Apr 2012

Total posts 2948

There are links to our features on the AirNZ Brisbane and Auckland lounges in the story (which have plenty more photos).

DanV

DanV

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2017

Total posts 123

I do wonder if those extra flights will last past October of next year when the VA-NZ TransTasman JV is up for renewal.

They have been frenemies since NZ exited VA after the boardroom bust-up (e.g NZ booting VA out of the Star LAX lounge, plus VA withdrawing points if flying the non-TransTasman NZ routes), all in conjunction with the closer co-operation with DL and the HNA group of airlines.

I wouldn't be surprised if NZ and VA revert to being rivals on the Tran-Tasman route if Borghetti is still around and/or the very very slim chance DL decides to buy into either the SQ or EY stakes, dragging VA further towards Skyteam.

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