29-Apr-2010 9:07 AM

Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue in dicussions for commercial cooperation

Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue confirmed (28-Apr-2010) they have been in discussions over several months regarding commercial cooperation on trans-Tasman (Australia-New Zealand) markets, but are yet to reach an agreement. The carriers stated that should any transaction be completed, they would promptly inform the market. The talks do not reportedly involve equity and are focused on working more closely on Tasman services, including a possible codeshare agreement (The Australian/Sydney Morning Herald, 29-Apr-2010). Qantas responded to the news stating the alliance should be examined by competition regulators, and it is “vital that any alliance does not distort the competitive environment or impact on what has to be a level playing field”. Qantas added it is not currently in talks with Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand had been in talks with Qantas for an equity agreement in 2002. However, competition regulators deemed the potential agreement anti-competitive. Air New Zealand CEO, Rob Fyfe, told staff “several airlines” have recently shown interest in working with the carrier at “various levels”. [more - Perspective] [more - Air New Zealand] [more - Virgin Blue]

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