Air NZ to codeshare with Qantas on domestic flights in NZ, Aus

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 in flight. Supplied by Air NZ

Air New Zealand has announced a domestic code-sharing deal with Qantas, as its deal with Virgin Australia Holdings comes to an end.

The two airlines will codeshare on up to 115 domestic routes in New Zealand and Australia, with Qantas' code to be added to up to 30 routes on Air New Zealand's domestic network and Air New Zealand's code to be added to up to 85 Qantas routes in Australia. The deal excludes trans-Tasman flights, on which Qantas will continue to codeshare with its budget Jetstar brand.

Tickets for the codeshare services will be available by the end of July, for travel from Oct. 28. In April, Air NZ announced its seven-year trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin would end on Oct. 27.

"Coordination of check-in and handling at airports will mean shorter connection times, opening up more onward flights for customers on each carrier’s domestic networks and faster journey times overall," the airlines said in a joint statement. "Eligible customers will have access to a combined total of 36 domestic lounges on both sides of the Tasman when flying on routes covered by the codeshare agreement."

The airlines also said that in future, they might work together on research into biofuels, freight and ground-handling opportunities.

Air NZ shares recently traded at $3.235, up 3.4 percent today, while Qantas' ASX-listed shares were down 0.9 percent to A$6.295.