This code share agreement follows a long history of interline cooperation, including a reciprocal Frequent Flyer Partnership between the two airlines, with passengers already travelling on routes between the UK and New Zealand on each others' services.

Both airlines offer highly complementary products and services and a seamless transfer experience for customers making connections across their networks. Air New Zealand's Business Premier seat has a version of Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Suite so passengers can enjoy the same award winning comfort when flying on both carriers.

"This new code share agreement provides yet further connectivity options for our customers as well as providing important connectivity for Virgin Atlantic customers to New Zealand and also the Cook Islands," says Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to announce this new code share with Air New Zealand," says Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic.

"With award winning Business Class and Premium Economy products along with the excellent service onboard, both airlines complement each other perfectly and we are sure that passengers will enjoy the advantages of this new partnership."

Passengers will be able to book with Virgin Atlantic to travel on connecting journeys on the following Air New Zealand routes using Virgin's VS flight code:

    Los Angeles - Rarotonga
    San Francisco - Auckland
    Sydney - Auckland
    Sydney - Christchurch
    Sydney - Wellington
    Auckland - Christchurch
    Auckland - Wellington
    Auckland -Queenstown
    Auckland - Rarotonga

Air New Zealand's passengers will be able to book on Virgin Atlantic's services between London Heathrow and San Francisco and between Hong Kong and Sydney for connecting journeys using Air New Zealand's NZ flight code.

The two carriers expect the code share to come into force on 28 February 2011 after obtaining the relevant government approvals.


Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 (0)21 747 320

Or for the Virgin Atlantic Press Office, phone +44 (0)1293 747373 or log onto the Virgin Atlantic website www.virginatlantic.com