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New Zealand approves Air NZ-SIA alliance

Officials in Wellington gave the green light Thursday to an alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, the final regulatory tick needed for the tie-up to proceed.

WELLINGTON: Officials in Wellington gave the green light on Thursday (Aug 7) to an alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines (SIA), the final regulatory tick needed for the tie-up to proceed.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said the alliance, first announced in January, would result in more flights and lower fares between New Zealand and Singapore.

"Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines have committed to offering 30 per cent more seats every week between Auckland and Singapore," he said in a statement. "This will ensure the availability of low fares."

The Competition Commission of Singapore already approved the alliance and Air New Zealand Chief Chris Luxon said precise details of how it will work would be released shortly.

Air New Zealand passengers will be able to access codeshare travel on the Singapore Airlines network to Europe, South-East Asia and Africa, as well as on the network of its regional subsidiary, SilkAir. SIA customers will, in turn, enjoy codeshare travel across the Air New Zealand domestic network and to the Pacific islands.

Commenting on the decision, SIA said in a statement on Thursday: "Singapore Airlines today welcomed the New Zealand Minister of Transport's approval of its proposed alliance with Air New Zealand. The alliance will lead to increased flight frequency between Singapore and New Zealand and provide other consumer benefits, such as improved connections through reciprocal codeshare ties."

It added the Star Alliance partner airlines will announce operational dates for alliance services shortly.