New Zealand approves Air NZ-SIA alliance

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Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand's proposed alliance has been approved by New Zealand's transport ministry.

The four-year approval allows the two Star Alliance carriers to coordinate services between Singapore and New Zealand, and will increase the number of connections to Southeast Asia, India and Europe, the ministry says.

The approval from Wellington follows earlier approval for the tie-up from the Competition Commission of Singapore in April.

The alliance will see Air NZ relaunch services on the Auckland-Singapore route, while SIA plans to deploy Airbus A380s on the same route.

“Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have committed to offering 30% more seats every week between Auckland and Singapore. This will more than compensate for capacity lost when Jetstar withdrew from the route, and ensure the availability of low fares,” says transport minister Gerry Brownlee.

Jetstar withdrew from the route on 21 July, raising concerns about the competitive impact of approving the alliance.

SIA and Air NZ both welcomed the announcement, and say that they will announce operational dates for the alliance shortly.