Air New Zealand and Air China unveil proposed alliance
The alliance, subject to regulatory approvals, would see Air China introduce a daily direct service between Beijing and Auckland. The Chinese flag carrier would also continue to codeshare on Air New Zealand’s daily Shanghai – Auckland service which will be operated exclusively by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from late August.
The proposed alliance would further open up Beijing as a new market to and from New Zealand and the airlines aim to almost double their sustainable capacity between China and New Zealand while delivering a range of other benefits to travellers including greater frequency and network connections.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the alliance with Air China would see two home carriers with complementary strengths at each end of the route working together to drive traffic in both directions.
“This proposed alliance brings New Zealand and China closer as our two countries enter the next phase of what is a very strong relationship focused on mutual growth and respect.
“By connecting the Chinese capital with New Zealand again we would provide tourists and business travellers with unparalleled air connectivity between and within each home market,” says Mr Luxon.
“Airlines play a vital role in facilitating growth through crucial people to people connections and the movement of high value cargo. I am proud to be able to work with our long term Star Alliance partner, Air China, to ensure these important links make commercial sense, are sustainable and are in the interests of consumers and the wider economies.”
Air China Chief Executive Officer Song Zhiyong says the relationship between China and New Zealand is entering into a new phase with significant achievements having already been made in economic development and cultural as well as political exchanges in recent years.
“We are committed to working with our Star Alliance partner Air New Zealand to provide better air connectivity between China and New Zealand in order to meet the growing demand from travellers in both markets,” says Mr Song.
“The proposed alliance with Air New Zealand allows both flag carriers to build a sustainable air service between Beijing and Auckland and supplement the existing connectivity between China and New Zealand. This service, along with Air New Zealand’s Shanghai – Auckland service, will provide greater benefits to travellers in both countries in the coming years – an outcome which we will feel very proud of.”
Subject to regulatory approvals, alliance services could commence as early as December 2015.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
About Air China:
Air China Limited (Air China) is the national flag carrier of China and a leading provider of passenger, air cargo and airline-related services and products in China. Its operational headquarters is in Beijing, a major domestic and international hub in China. It also provides airline-related services, including aircraft maintenance, ground handling services in Beijing, Chengdu, and other locations. As at Feb 28, 2015, the Company operated a fleet of 366 aircraft with an average age of 6.28 years (excluding aircraft under wet leases). Passenger traffic routes have reached to 326 routes, including 84 international, 15 regional and 227 domestic routes. The Company’s network covered 33 countries and regions globally and 160 cities, including 54 international, three regional and 103 domestic cities. Air China was listed on Hong Kong Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange on December 15, 2004 under codes 00753 and AIRC respectively. On August 18, 2006, Air China was listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange under code 601111. For further details, please visit Air China’s website: www.airchina.com.cn.
About Air New Zealand:
Air New Zealand is New Zealand’s national airline providing air passenger and cargo transport services to more than 20 destinations within New Zealand, as well as to and from 27 international ports in Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia, North America and the United Kingdom. The airline is well known globally for its innovation, including the award winning Economy Skycouch seating product and creative marketing and brand campaigns including renowned inflight safety videos which have been viewed online by tens of millions of people around the world. In 2014 Air New Zealand became the first airline in the world to take delivery of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The airline has operated between Auckland and Shanghai since 2006 and recently welcomed the 787-9 to this route.
About Star Alliance:
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. The integration of Avianca Brasil is currently in progress. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.