Auckland Airport is urging the Government to consider closely the threat posed to competition on the Auckland-Singapore route by the proposed strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines.
In a submission to the Ministry of Transport the airport says it is "generally supportive" of the proposal, but the airlines' assertion that the alliance will not affect the overall level of competition on the route needs to be tested. Jetstar is the only other airline that provides direct flights on the route.
"We consider this is necessary to ensure the minister is satisfied that the alliance will not have the effect of creating an uncompetitive environment on the route," the airport's submission says.
Air New Zealand hopes to form a strengthened alliance with Singapore Airlines, resuming flights to the southeast Asian country and gaining access to the Singaporean carrier's regional market and much of its worldwide network.
Among the alliance's features, services between New Zealand and Singapore will be boosted by almost a third and Singapore Airlines will use its superjumbo Airbus A380 on the route.
Auckland Airport said it welcomed the range of public benefits outlined in the application, including giving Air New Zealand an opportunity for sustainable growth of its Pacific Rim network and putting the applicants in a stronger position to compete with the Qantas-Emirates alliance.
"Auckland Airport recognises airlines operate in the context of a global industry where numerous strategic alliances and alignments exist and are used to achieve reductions in operational costs."