Singapore Airlines (SIA) will fly its Airbus A380 to New Zealand for the first time later this year, following a major new alliance with Air New Zealand.
The partnership will see SIA’s double-decker aircraft deployed on the Singapore-Auckland route, replacing the Boeing 777-300ER the airline currently operates on the daily service.
In addition, the alliance will enable Air New Zealand to resume flights on the Auckland-Singapore route for the first time since 2006. Using its B777-200ER aircraft, the service will replace five of the weekly flights currently operated by SIA, while adding an extra two new services, to give Air New Zealand a daily operation to Singapore.
SIA’s daily Singapore-Christchurch service will also continue as part of the alliance.
“This alliance is another example of our commitment to the important Southwest Pacific market, and our commitment to the further enhancement of our network,” said SIA’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong. “This is a genuine win-win partnership, enabling Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand to work together to provide more flight frequency and enhanced travel options to our customers.”
The tie-up, which is still subject to regulatory approval, will also enable SIA to codeshare on Air New Zealand’s domestic network, while the Kiwi carrier’s passengers will be able to access SIA and SilkAir’s networks to Europe, Southeast Asia and Africa.
Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon, said this fits with his airline’s strategy of focusing on “Pacific Rim destinations”.
SIA’s A380 operations will initially operate on seasonal basis, with the B777-300ER being used during off-peak travel periods. Pending approval, flights could commence as early as December 2014.