Air New Zealand and Air China have released details of a proposed alliance on services between China and New Zealand.
The alliance, subject to regulatory approvals, would see Air China introduce a daily direct service between Beijing and Auckland. The Chinese flag carrier would also continue to codeshare on Air New Zealand’s daily Shanghai – Auckland service which will be operated exclusively by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from 24 August.
The proposed alliance would further open up Beijing as a new market to and from New Zealand and the airlines aim to almost double sustainable capacity between China and New Zealand while delivering a range of other benefits to travellers including greater frequency and network connections.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the alliance with Air China would see two home carriers with complementary strengths at each end of the route working together to drive traffic in both directions.
“This proposed alliance brings New Zealand and China closer as our two countries enter the next phase of what is a very strong relationship focused on mutual growth and respect.
“By connecting the Chinese capital with New Zealand for the first time in three years we would provide tourists and business travellers with unparalleled air connectivity between and within each home market,” says Mr. Luxon.
“Airlines play a vital role in facilitating growth through crucial people to people connections and the movement of high value cargo. I am proud to be able to work with our long term Star Alliance partner, Air China, to ensure these important links make commercial sense, are sustainable and are in the interests of consumers and the wider economies.”
Air China Chief Executive Officer Song Zhiyong says the relationship between China and New Zealand is entering into a new phase with significant achievements having already been made in economic development and political as well as cultural exchanges in recent years.
“We are committed to working with our Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand to provide better air connectivity between China and New Zealand in order to meet the growing demand from travellers in both markets,” says Mr. Zhiyong.
“The proposed alliance with Air New Zealand allows both flag carriers to build a sustainable air service between Beijing and Auckland and supplement the existing connectivity between China and New Zealand. This service, along with Air New Zealand’s Shanghai – Auckland service, will provide greater benefits to travellers in both countries in the coming years – an outcome which we will feel very proud of.”
Subject to regulatory approvals, alliance services could commence as early as December 2015.