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Velocity members can earn points and share lounges with Air New Zealand from today

By David Flynn     Filed under: Air NZ, New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Trans-Tasman, Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand take another step down the alliance aisle today with their new trans-Tasman partnership coming into effect.

Full codesharing of flights across the Tasman as well as connecting domestic services have commenced from today.The airlines have also aligned fare structures, products and services.

Business travellers will enjoy greater lounge access, with members of Virgin Australia's The Lounge program gaining gain entry into Air New Zealand domestic Koru lounges when flying on domestic New Zealand services, and international Koru lounges on trans-Tasman services (as we revealed several weeks ago).

However, only Velocity Gold members can access Air New Zealand's international lounges at Los Angeles and San Francisco airports.

There's also reciprocal earn-and-burn privileges for members of the Virgin Australia Velocity and Air New Zealand Airpoints program.

Velocity members flying on a full economy on Air New Zealand will earn 1 Velocity point per mile (earn rates for the twelve discount economy fares range from 0.25 to 0.75 points per mile).

You can clock up 1.5 Velocity points per mile in Air New Zealand premium economy and 2 Velocity points per mile in business class.

On top of that, Velocity Silver members get a 20% bonus and Velocity Gold score 40% extra.

The partnership also provides priority seating in dedicated zones for top-tier frequent flyers;  and priority check-in, baggage and boarding for premium passengers and eligible Velocity and Airpoints members.

The new fare structure and product offering on the airlines are detailed below.

Existing Air New Zealand trans-Tasman fares and product on Air New Zealand services New Pacific Blue trans-Tasman fares and product on Pacific Blue services
Seat
- Seat
- 1 carry on bag up to 7kg
- Complimentary tea, coffee and water
- TV, music and games via seat back inflight entertainment (IFE)
- Buy snacks and drinks onboard
Saver
- Seat
- 1 carry on bag up to 7kg
- Complimentary tea, coffee and water
- Personal digEplayers available for hire
- Buy snacks and drinks onboard
Seat+Bag
- Above Seat product, plus
- 1 checked bag up to 23kg
Saver (With bag option)
- Above Saver product, plus
- Checked baggage allowance for purchase of up to 23kg.
The Works
- Above Seat+Bag product, plus
- Full IFE access, including movies
- Meal and beverage service
Flexi
- Saver product including bag, plus
- digEplayer including movies, TV, e- books and games
- Inclusive food and drinks
- Priority check-in
Works Deluxe
- The Works product, plus
- Premium Check-in
- Priority baggage
- 2 checked bags up to 23kg each
- Lounge access (where available)
- Greater seat pitch in forward zones of the aircraft
- Complimentary newspaper, bottle of mineral water and increased meal service
- Noise cancelling headphones
- Pillow and blanket (upon request)
Premium Economy
- Priority Check-in
- Priority baggage
- Checked bags up to 69kg
- Lounge access (where available)
- Greater seat pitch
- Complimentary newspaper
- Unlimited food and drinks from the on- board menu
- digEplayer with movies, TV, e-books and games with premium earphones

Both airlines are also working on a more closely integrated trans-Tasman schedule aimed at removing duplicated flights and adding new direct services.

"The first thing we hope to do is remove what we call ‘wingtip’ flying, where we both take off within half an hour of each other" Air New Zealand's Cam Wallace, General Manager Australia, told Australian Business Traveller.

"That doesn’t provide any consumer benefit in terms of choice in the schedule. And we know that schedule and frequency are big drivers for our corporate customers."

"If we both fly to Queenstown on Tuesday and Saturday, for example, it would be highly logical for us to spread those flights out across the week.”

Wallace says that this rationalisation of flights will allow the airline to boost services to other destinations.

“We’ve made undertakings to the ACCC on increased flying, primarily to Wellington from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. I think we’ll have around 117 extra flights per year."

As for new routes to Australia, Wallace admits that “there are a couple under investigation", which are rumoured to include Canberra and Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

 

Have something to say? Post a comment now!

1 on 27/7/11 by diverboy

Rocked up to Wellington Airport this morning (5am NZT) and thought I'd try the new alliance. I was hugely disappointed to find that Velocity Gold members do not gain access to AirNZ lounges when travelling on Pacific Blue DJ flights over the Tasman. I thought this only applied when flying to the Pacific, it appears not to be the case.

Does the same apply when travelling from Australia - NZ on DJ flights?

1 on 27/7/11 by 777

I'd be disapointed too as i'd understood that would be part of the deal. Did you get access to the 'Corporate box' or whatever the lounge it is that DJ have been using in Wellington until now?

1 on 27/7/11 by diverboy

Access to the corporate box was available however I'd already cleared security and purchased duty free so going back through wasn't an option. I should have asked at check-in about AirNZ Lounge but made the assumption. 

You know what they say about assume...

 

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