Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand have begun revising their shared timetables as part of the alliance between the Aussie and NZ carriers, in most cases adding extra flights on the trans-Tasman route.
The changes, which come into effect on October 30, are detailed in flight schedules logged into the global distribution system (GDS) used by travel agents and reported by the Airline Route website.
Some schedules, such as Brisbane-Christchurch, keep the same number of services but put more separation between the Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand flight to remove what Air New Zealand's Aussie chief Cam Wallace calls ‘wingtip’ flying.
"Wingtip flying is where we both take off within half an hour of each other” Wallace told Australian Business Traveller. “That doesn’t provide any consumer benefit in terms of choice in the schedule. And we know that schedule and frequency are big drivers for our corporate customers.”
Some Brisbane flights across the pond see Virgin Australia’s Pacific Blue airline – which will adopt the Virgin Australia logo and livery in January 2012 – take over from Air New Zealand.
Other routes are in for a trim, with Pacific Blue cutting back on the already well-served Sydney-Auckland shuttle – which will drop from daily to six times per week in November, and then five times in February and Cairns-Auckland, which will reduce from two flights per week to just one.
On the whole, business travellers stand to gain from the realigned timetables of both Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand – and can of course use the airport lounges of both airline, and accrue frequent flyer points in either the Velocity or Air Points programs.
Sydney-Wellington will be boosted from nine flights per week to a double daily service, with Melbourne-Wellington moving from daily to eight flights per week.
AirNZ will add a Wednesday flight between Adelaide and Auckland from December, lifting this to a daily service, while the daily Perth-Auckland service gets one extra flight per week
Virgin Australia’s Brisbane-Auckland service will go from daily to eight flights per week in November and nine in December.
For more details, visit http://airlineroute.net/2011/06/08/nzdj-tasman-w11.