Cheaper flights on way as Air NZ signs Singapore deal

By Andrew Koubaridis

Agreement opening door to carrier's international network also great for local industry, says Tourism New Zealand.

Air NZ will resume flights to Singapore for the first time in eight years. Photo / NZ Herald
Air NZ will resume flights to Singapore for the first time in eight years. Photo / NZ Herald

Kiwis can expect cheaper flights and more choices as a result of a deal between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, which is also expected to boost local tourism.

The deal announced yesterday, which is subject to regulatory approval, will enable Air NZ to resume flights to Singapore for the first time in eight years.

It will also have access to the Singaporean carrier's huge regional market and much of its worldwide network.

It will take more than half of the flights operated by Singapore Airlines to New Zealand and revenue would be shared between the airlines from all flights on the route.

Singapore Airlines will operate its larger Airbus A380 on flights to New Zealand for the first time.

The deal is expected to boost capacity by 30 per cent.

The Flight centre's general manager of products, Simon McKearney, said the move probably wasn't unexpected after a deal between other major airlines in the region, Qantas and Emirates.

In particular the deal opened up the southeast Asian market, which was something Air NZ had been keen to do.

It also gave another gateway for Kiwis to get to Europe, and he believed it would almost certainly mean cheaper airfares.

"With demand and supply if you have an increased capacity they will be wanting to fill it and that's generally price driven. So you would think, yes there's going to be some good deals, especially on launch. But if there is capacity going forward they will fill it with some good deals - and that will be interesting with the Qantas and Emirates alliance trying to fight for a dollar as well."

Codeshare agreements also make booking easier and travel more convenient with better co-ordination of flights.

"It's going to be 'watch this space' - but I suspect it will be very positive for the travelling public."

House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said supply drove increased demand.

"So we will see more people travelling and the prices will be competitive."

Mr Thomas said in the past there wasn't simply a shift from one carrier to another. "We really believe this will boost the number of people travelling from New Zealand for holidays or for business."

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the additional capacity was great news for New Zealand tourism.

- NZ Herald

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