Auckland Airport and tourist organisations have welcomed the approval of a strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
The government yesterday rubber stamped the deal which will result in an estimated minimum of 100,000 extra seats a year on the Singapore-Auckland route.
Charles Spillane, Auckland Airport's acting general manager aeronautical commercial, says the new alliance will bring substantial capacity growth and improved connectivity.
"This alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines demonstrates the commitment that both airlines have to growing connections between Singapore and New Zealand and we congratulate them on this," said Spillane.
Air New Zealand will take over the existing five-flight a week service currently operated by Singapore Airlines on the Auckland-Singapore route and replacing it with a daily service, as well as Singapore Airlines an Airbus A380 super jumbo on its remaining daily service between Auckland and Singapore on a seasonal basis.
The Singapore A380 will be the fourth super jumbo in Auckland each day over summer, in addition to Emirates' three aircraft.
"Singapore is a critical hub airport, providing New Zealand with access to South East Asia and in particular key emerging markets such as India and Indonesia. This new alliance will help to support the impressive growth we have already seen from these markets," said Spillane.
Tourism New Zealand's chief executive, Kevin Bowler, said the organisation welcomed any agreement that resulted in increased capacity to New Zealand from key visitor markets.
"The Auckland-Singapore route provides a vital connection into South East Asia, India and the wider Asia region, as well as extending on to Europe which supports our work to target visitors from these regions and grow their arrivals to New Zealand."
Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts says approval of the Air New Zealand/Singapore Airlines alliance was also aligned with its Tourism 2025 strategy.
"Growing sustainable air connections is crucial to growing the value of tourism. The alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines has immediate benefits in terms of additional capacity and also offers a sustainable partnership that should provide long-term gains and opportunities," he said.
"Singapore is a vital source of visitors to New Zealand with potential to increase. It is also one of the world's major aviation hubs and a vital pipeline to our growing visitor markets throughout Asia and the Pacific Rim."
The Competition Commission of Singapore gave its approval to the deal earlier this year.