Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon has reiterated the importance of alliances to its network development, particularly its proposed alliance with Singapore Airlines.
“A lot of our network decisions have been how do we find the right alliance partners around the world,” he told Flightglobal on the sidelines of the IATA AGM in Doha. “Singapore solves a lot for Southeast Asia, Europe, India and South Africa.”
SIA and ANZ have received approval from the Singapore competition authority for their alliance, but require approval from New Zealand’s transport ministry before it can be implemented.
As part of the alliance, ANZ will take over five weekly services currently operated by SIA on the Auckland-Singapore route, flying them with a Boeing 777-200ER. SIA will also upgrade its daily services on the route to operate with an Airbus A380.
Luxon says that pending the approval, the airline hopes to start the Singapore flights by December.
He adds that the SIA alliance, and its joint ventures with Cathay Pacific and Virgin Australia are the most important relationships it has. It also has tie-ups with other Star Alliance carriers in North America, Japan and greater China, giving it feed across all of its major long-haul markets.
“The big one left for us to still solve in the medium-term is Latin America, and just finding the right partner there,” says Luxon.
ANZ does not presently fly to Latin America, but sees it as a key future market under its strategy of focusing its long-haul network on the Pacific rim.