Tasman Tie-Up Grant Demanded by Air N.Z., Virgin Blue Seek

Tasman Tie-Up Grant Demanded by Air N.Z., Virgin Blue SeekIt has been reported that Air New Zealand Ltd. and Virgin Blue Holdings Ltd. are looking for authoritarian consent for a coalition, which might help them surpass Qantas Airways Ltd. as the main operator of flights between Australia and New Zealand.

Today, Auckland-based Air New Zealand said that the carriers are looking forward to join forces on future routes, product planning, and code sharing and regular flyer programs.

According to Chief Executive Officer, Brett Godfrey Virgin Blue, Australia's No. 2 carrier expects a sales boost of at least A$15 million ($14 million) a year from the accord.

According to Godfrey, Qantas and Emirates would have a 565 share of trans-Tasman traffic, compared to 35% for Qantas and its Jetstar budget unit.

Godfrey said, "This will allow us to better compete with the Qantas- Jetstar group; we go from the minority players in the market to slightly ahead."

Both nations' controllers are likely to take six months to analyze the accord, Air New Zealand said.

The plan for a tie-up with Qantas was drawn back by the carrier, which is Australia's major carrier; in 2006 following Australia's antitrust supervisor discarded a proposal.

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