Good news today for travellers between New Zealand and Australia, a further hurdle in Qantas and Emirates alliance has been cleared. The Minister for Transport in NZ (Gerry Brownlee) has given permission for the alliance to fly into NZ for the next five years. While some may say it reduces competition I hope that increased flexibility in flight times will work well for the average customer, especially those flying on packages from further abroad. Tourism is an important earner for our little plot on the map in the far southern oceans, so anything that may work positively in that regards is a plus in my books!
The airlines’ request to extend their alliance to the trans-Tasman market was the most contentious part of the deal, which is mostly focused on routes to Europe via Emirates’ base in Dubai.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has already imposed conditions on Qantas and Emirates to maintain the level of capacity on trans-Tasman routes that they had before March.
Mr Brownlee said in a statement on Wednesday that travellers and exporters would benefit from “strengthened connections with Emirates’ international network”.
“Trans-Tasman competition will be maintained through existing carriers on the route and the threat of entry by new carriers,” he said.
Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are also seeking approval from regulators for an extension to their own alliance on the trans-Tasman.
Air New Zealand, in which the New Zealand government has a 73 per cent stake, said on Tuesday that it expects a decision from regulators by September.
The Kiwi flag carrier and Virgin have a market share of more than 50 per cent on the Tasman.
- Qantas – Emirates alliance authorised (national.org.nz)
- Govt ticks Qantas-Emirates trans-Tasman tie up (stuff.co.nz)