Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have announced changes to one of their key alliance routes driven by an improved demand outlook.
The two airlines are set to provide customers with an expanded schedule of flights on the Auckland-Brisbane route, with up to five extra flights a week delivering an additional 38,000 seats between April and October 2018. This means customers will now be able to choose from up to 34 return services per week.
In addition, Virgin Australia will be re-timing its weekday Auckland-Brisbane service to provide a better evening schedule proposition for the alliance, with the choice of departure times of 4:00pm, 6:00pm and 7:30pm allowing for more flexibility in travel times for customers.
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer, Cam Wallace, says the new services are timed for seamless connections to domestic ports at both ends of the route.
“Demand for Trans-Tasman travel continues to be strong and it’s a market we’re focused on growing. Together, with Virgin Australia, we’ll offer up to six daily return flights between Brisbane and Auckland next winter - a capacity boost of more than 10 percent compared with the same period this year.”
Group Executive for Virgin Australia Airlines, Rob Sharp, welcomed these changes, saying that the alliance will continue to look for opportunities to offer better connections and flight frequencies between Australia and New Zealand for its customers.
“Virgin Australia is pleased to see the growth in demand for these services and these network changes. Our alliance with Air New Zealand is committed to providing customers with flexible travel options to and from New Zealand and the updates to the flight schedule reflect this.”