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Current as of 27/09/16 12:59PM NZST
Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Splitsville: Airpoints and Fly Buys part company

An Air New Zealand's 777-300 at Auckland. The airline says it is simplifying its Airpoints scheme. Photo / Nick Reed.
An Air New Zealand's 777-300 at Auckland. The airline says it is simplifying its Airpoints scheme. Photo / Nick Reed.

Air New Zealand loyalty scheme Airpoints and Fly Buys are parting company.

The two schemes say they will now focus on their own respective loyalty programmes and will no longer offer Airpoints Dollar earning through the Fly Buys network from October 17.

The organisations have worked together since 2010, but say they now need to offer something new to their respective membership bases.

Airpoints membership has doubled in size in four years to 2.2 million and Fly Buys has about 2.5 million members.

Mark Street, GM Loyalty at Air New Zealand says Airpoints' focus is on making it simpler for customers to earn Airpoints Dollars at a growing number of direct retail and travel partners.

"The current arrangement worked well for both organisations, but has come to its natural end point in its current form. Over the past 18 months we have been focused on expanding our own partner network to better meet the needs of our membership base.''

Airpoints in June partnered with Mercury Energy, Z, New World, Liquorland, Henry's, Gilmours and Trents. Today it announced Mitre 10, Tower Insurance and Storage King as new direct partners.

Stephen England-Hall, chief executive of Loyalty New Zealand, the company which runs Fly Buys, said Air New Zealand has been a "great partner in the Fly Buys programme, but we are jointly moving to a relationship that suits both companies' needs better."

Now:
• If a Fly Buys member wants to earn Fly Buys points at a participating retailer, they scan their Fly Buys card.
• If an Airpoints member wants to earn Airpoints Dollars at a Fly Buys retailer, they scan their Airpoints card.

From October 17:
• Airpoints Dollars can no longer be earned through the Fly Buys.
• Instead, Airpoints members can now earn Airpoints Dollars at a range of new direct Airpoints partners.

Air New Zealand's Street said Airpoints members now had a choice of 55 businesses where they can earn Airpoints Dollars.

Growth of Airpoints' network of partners has been a strategic focus for some time, he said.

Twenty-nine new businesses had been added during the past two years.

Z says customers still had the choice of the programmes.

Z's general manager of marketing, Jane Anthony, said customers would be able to choose whether they'd like to collect Fly Buys points or Airpoints Dollars, by swiping the appropriate card.

Air NZ this morning released numbers about the scale of its Airpoints operation:

- 2.2 million Airpoints members, doubled in size in four years
- 55 businesses now part of the Airpoints programme, with 29 added in the past two years
- 140 online retailers available to earn Airpoints Dollars via the Airpoints Mall
- 860,000 flights enjoyed by members using their Airpoints Dollars over the past 12 months, up more than 100,000 flights on the year prior
- 2,000 products other than flights are now available for purchase using Airpoints Dollars at its Airpoints Store

- NZ Herald

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