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Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee has authorised a strategic alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, which will see Air New Zealand fly into Singapore for the first time since 2006.
He says the decision, which comesmore than three months after approval from Singapore, will benefit air travellers by offering more flights and lower fares.
It follows the withdrawal of budget airline Jetstar's Auckland-Singapore service for lack of support.
“Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have committed to offering 30% more seats every week between Auckland and Singapore," he says.
"This will more than compensate for capacity lost when Jetstar withdrew from the route, and ensure the availability of low fares.”
The alliance will also provide opportunities for a continuation and expansion of the role Singapore has long played as a hub for travel between New Zealand and Europe, Mr Brownlee says.
Under the alliance, the two airlines will coordinate operations on the Auckland-Singapore and Christchurch-Singapore routes. It will provide a far greater range of connecting flights throughout Southeast Asia, India and Europe.
Mr Brownlee has authorised the alliance for an initial term of four years. During this period, the airlines will need to demonstrate the alliance has delivered real benefits to consumers and that it has not had an adverse impact on competition in other markets.