Air New Zealand, the country's national carrier, is targeting a return to Singapore with a planned codesharing alliance with Singapore Airlines.
The Auckland-based airline and Asian carrier plan to boost their capacity between New Zealand and Singapore by 30 percent with the tie-up, which will introduce an Auckland-Singapore route for the first time, Air NZ said in a statement. New Zealand's state controlled airline will take over five flights currently operated by Singapore Airlines, who will maintain its daily Singapore-Christchurch service as part of the deal.
"Air New Zealand is on a positive growth trajectory with a clear focus on Pacific Rim destinations," chief executive Chris Luxon said. "An alliance with Singapore Airlines clearly fits our business objectives of working with the right partners in the right markets."
Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines are both major shareholders in Australia's Virgin Airlines, along with fellow Air NZ partner Etihad Airways.
Singapore Airline passengers will be able to travel across Air New Zealand domestic and select international routes, while customers with Air New Zealand will have access to similar codeshare travel across Singapore Airline's South East Asia, UK, Europe and Africa networks.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals from the Competition Commission of Singapore and the New Zealand Transport Minister. If the deal gets regulatory approval, flights could start by December this year.
Air NZ shares rose 0.3 percent to $1.695 today.