There was significant excitement and expectation around the new Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines alliance so we thought it was a good time to address the burning question of “What’s In it For Me as Business Class / First Class traveller from New Zealand?”
From 6 January 2015 Air New Zealand commenced operations on the Singapore-Auckland route with Singapore Airlines.
There are three daily flights to/from Singapore. Two from Auckland: Air New Zealand flying a B777-200 and Singapore airlines flying an A380. The third flight is the Singapore Airlines B777-200 from Christchurch.
What is in it for me? More choice.
Choice of destinations – 50 destinations on Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary airline SilkAir.
Choice of routing – For your business class travel to UK & Europe you can now add flying via Singapore as an Air New Zealand option together with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.
Singapore is of course a significant regional business hub and therefore the Air New Zealand option will be appealing for many travellers, especially Air New Zealand’s Gold and Gold Elite status airpoints members.
Choice of onboard product – With Air New Zealand you have Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy. With Singapore Airlines you have First Class, Business Class and Economy flights. A Premium Economy and Economy combination the UK and Europe will also be a popular option.
Choice of Airline Membership points accrual – Airpoints and Kris Flyer members can accrue and redeem points / airpoints dollars on each airline but upgrades are only apply to the members airlines aircraft.
Will the prices be sharp?
We expect so and we have seen many Business Class specials to Europe released by both carriers on this route. Both airlines have even more seats to fill (30% increase in capacity on top of the recent Cathay Pacific partnership) and they are battling head on with the Emirates / Qantas partnership.
A good Business Class tip is that if you are travelling with children under 12 years then Singapore Airlines offer a child’s discount - something Air New Zealand doesn’t currently do.
This alliance is good news, especially if you favour Star Alliance airlines.
For those that prefer to book online the benefits from such Alliances can making booking travel complex. Identifying the best priced routing options, stopover packages, possible First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy Class combinations, seat selection and airline membership choices can be handled by your Fine Travel Consultant.