ANZ and Virgin Blue hit back against critics of their trans-Tasman alliance

Singapore
Source:
This story is sourced from Pro
See more Pro news »

Air New Zealand (ANZ) and Virgin Blue have hit back against several parties opposing the airlines' proposed trans-Tasman alliance, calling their claims unsubstantiated and misleading.

The two airlines announced in May that they planned to work together on route and product planning, code sharing and frequent flyer programme benefits.

Since then, more than 10 parties including airports and low-cost carrier Tiger Airways, have filed submissions to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), urging it to not approve the alliance.

They say that allowing the partnership will be detrimental to competition in the market.

In a submission to the ACCC, ANZ and Virgin Blue responded against these claims, saying: "These analyses use selective data, contain inconsistencies and factual errors and are misleading. They should be given no weight."

The tie-up between ANZ and Virgin Blue will result in an increase in overall passenger numbers, the airlines add.

"The alliance will achieve this outcome by creating a second integrated Australasian network with enhanced services and better products which will be more attractive to customers," they say.

ANZ and Virgin Blue also rejected claims that the alliance will lead to higher fares, capacity shrinkage and reduced competition in the market.

"In fact, by making available a better service in competition with the Qantas-Jetstar group, the alliance will be pro-competitive," they say.

The ACCC and New Zealand's transport ministry are evaluating ANZ and Virgin Blue's application to form the alliance, and could make a decision by the end of the year.