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Air New Zealand, Virgin Atlantic Tie To Expand beyond Tasman

by 24. June 2011 10:36
Air New Zealand has indicated that it is looking forward to expanding its ties with Virgin Atlantic once their strategic alliance on the trans-Tasman route is in place.

Virgin Atlantic recently received approval by US regulators to form JV with Delta Air Lines for flights between Australia and the US.

Air New Zealand has expressed its keen interest following the recent approval by US regulators to Virgin Atlantic.

After British entrepreneur Richard Branson, the Air New Zealand is the second-largest stakeholder in Virgin Atlantic.

The Kiwi flag carrier has disclosed that it will go in for a partial sell-down of the New Zealand government’s 75 percent stake in it. According to the airline, the offloading of the stakes will boost its appeal to large institutional investors on both sides of the Tasman.

Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive of Air New Zealand, said, “The airline was open to expanding its ties with Virgin Atlantic beyond their trans-Tasman joint venture and code-sharing on flights in Australia and New Zealand. We haven’t focused on those questions yet because we are all hands to the pump to get the trans-Tasman joint venture up and running. But when we have achieved that… I am hopeful there are opportunities to expand the relationship.”

Fyfe further remarked: “The airline would also consider ways to create any “incremental value” from the strategic alliance Virgin Atlantic signed with Singapore Airlines last week. It is very valuable for Virgin to have a strong [passenger] feed relationship into Asia. It makes them more competitive in their home market.”

However, the deal that the Virgin Atlantic signed with Singapore Airlines is yet to get approval from the regulators.

In a bid to extend its global reach and boost its appeal to high-yield corporate travelers, Virgin Atlantic has also formed a strategic alliance with the leading Middle East carrier Etihad Airways.

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Tags: air new zealand, virgin atlantic

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