There’s been a big break-up in the airline business.
After a beautiful seven year relationship, Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand have decided to part ways.
Virgin confirmed in a release on ASX the airline received notice that Air New Zealand intended to end the strategic alliance between the two.
Air New Zealand Cheif Revenue Officer Cam Wallace said in another release the market dynamics on the Tasman have changed and the time is now right for each airline to focus on its own objectives.
“Australia is the largest source of inbound visitors to New Zealand and Air New Zealand has built up a significant presence in this market,” he said.
“This move will enable us to deliver a more consistent customer experience by using our own fleet and delivering an improved schedule, which we’ll provide more details about shortly.”
“We remain fully committed to our other alliance relationships and our overall global airline alliance strategy as a critical success factor in other markets.”
Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the split enables Virgin to explore new opportunities on the Tasman.
“The Virgin Australia Group has had a strong presence in the market since 2004 and we will continue to enhance our offering to suit both the business and leisure markets,” he said in the ASX release.
“Virgin Australia will continue its strong focus on providing competition and outstanding service on the Tasman, which remains an important part of our network and strategy as an airline group.”
Bussiness Insider reports the two had been growing distant since 2016 when Air New Zealand announced it would sell its shareholdings in Virgin Australia.
Virgin said there would be no immediate changes to travel bookings between Australia and New Zealand and arrangements concerning codeshare, scheduling, in-flight offering, lounge access and frequent flyer programs are currently being looked at.
The current arrangement will remain in place until October 27 and any customers who have booked with Air New Zealand to travel on a Virgin service or visa versa will be contacted by their booking airline.