Entries in Virgin Blue (4)

Tuesday
May172011

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia elaborate on new network

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia have each released information on the trans-Tasman alliance the two airlines worked out late last year.  Currently, Air New Zealand operates 70 percent of all commercial flights across the Tasman Sea, and Virgin Australia (formerly Virgin Blue) operates 30 percent.  That ratio will not change under the new arrangement.  The two airlines are working together on a schedule of times and days (of the week) for the trans-Tasman flights that will optimize convenience for air travelers, and will stay within the terms of the alliance, approved last December by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and the New Zealand Ministry of Transport (MOT).

Air New Zealand sees four main components of the new alliance.  Those are a trans-Tasman and domestic (for both airlines) codeshare agreement, revenue sharing, reciprocity between the two airlines' respective loyalty programs, and reciprocal lounge access for qualifying travelers on each airline.

Air New Zealand was formed in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), as a joint venture among the British Overseas Airways Corporation, which held a plurality of the shares; Qantas Airways; the government of New Zealand; and the now defunct New Zealand carrier Union Airways.  The airline was nationalized in 1965, when the government of New Zealand bought all shares.  It was privatized in 1989, and re-nationalized in 2001.  Its headquarters is in Auckland, at a complex colloquially called “The Hub.”  As far as airports are concerned, the airline operates its largest hub at Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL; ICAO: NZAA).  Its focus cities are the national capital Wellington, the nation's second-largest city Christchurch, and the American city of Los Angeles.

Virgin Australia is the second largest airline based in Australia, behind Qantas.  It was founded in 2000 by the venture capital conglomeration Virgin Group Limited, itself founded by the British venture capitalist Sir Richard Branson.  Its corporate offices are located in the Bowen Hills area of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, and capital of the Australian state of Queensland.  Virgin Australia operates its largest hub at Brisbane Airport (IATA: BNE; ICAO: YBBN), and operates secondary hubs at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML), and at Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY).

related stories

Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue partnership approved (December 16, 2010)

Virgin Blue-Air New Zealand alliance blocked (September 10, 2010)

original stories

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Airlines Group Announce New-look Joint Network (Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia Airlines Announce Joint Network (Virgin Australia)

Friday
Jan212011

Air New Zealand increases its ownership share in Virgin Blue

Air New Zealand recently acquired a 14.99 percent ownership stake in Australia-based "cut price carrier" Virgin Blue, according to the New York-based Associated Press, and the Otago Daily Times, a New Zealand newspaper.  The national airline of New Zealand, whose majority owner is the New Zealand government, would be required to make a "takeover offer" to the shareholders of Virgin Blue, if its ownership share in the Australian carrier grew to 15 percent.

Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said with certainty that Air New Zealand would not increase its ownership share in Virgin Blue to 15 percent in the forseeable future.  Last month, the two airlines were allowed by Australian anti-trust regulators to enter into a partnership on certain trans-Tasman routes.

According to the Associated Press, the New Zealand government bought a majority of the shares in Air New Zealand ten years ago, to rescue the airline from the loss it suffered after investing in the now defunct Australian airline Ansett.  Ansett ceased operations in 2002.

Virgin Blue, Australia's second-largest airline behind Qantas Airways, is 26 percent owned by the United Kingdom-based Virgin Group, founded by British venture capitalist Sir Richard Branson.

related stories

Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue partnership approved (December 16, 2010)

Virgin Blue-Air New Zealand alliance blocked (September 10, 2010)

original stories

Air New Zealand buys 14.9 percent of Virgin Blue (Yahoo News)

Benefits from Air NZ's stake in Virgin (Otago Daily Times)

Thursday
Dec162010

Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue partnership approved

Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue are now approved by anti-trust regulators at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to enter into the trans-Tasman partnership rejected by that same regulatory body three months ago.  The ACCC had been unhappy with low passenger capacity levels that the two airlines had in mind for certain trans-Tasman routes, according to the BBC today.  And to discourage a level of collusion on price between the two airlines that it (presumably) deemed unfair, the ACCC required that the number of seats available on those routes be increased.  Upon receiving "more information," detailing the exact nature of the partnership, the ACCC signed off on it.

An Air New Zealand-Virgin Blue alliance had been in the works for five years.  "The alliance still requires the approval of the New Zealand Minister of Transport," according to the New Zealand Herald today.

Air New Zealand was formed in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), as a joint venture among the British Overseas Airways Corporation, which held a plurality of the shares; Qantas Airways; the government of New Zealand; and the now defunct New Zealand carrier Union Airways.  The airline was nationalized in 1965, when the government of New Zealand bought all shares.  It was privatized in 1989, and re-nationalized in 2001.  Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries operate 99 aircraft to 53 destinations within Oceania, and on the continents of Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America.  Its headquarters is in Auckland, at a complex colloquially called “The Hub.”  As far as airports are concerned, the airline operates its largest hub at Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL; ICAO: NZAA).  Its focus cities are the national capital Wellington, the nation's second-largest city Christchurch, and the American city of Los Angeles.

The design on the tail fins of Air New Zealand planes is called a koru.  As of the time of this post, the carrier is the largest airline headquartered in the land of the long white cloud, and the only airline to circumnavigate the world.

Virgin Blue is the second largest airline based in Australia, behind Qantas.  It was founded in 2000 by the venture capital conglomeration Virgin Group Limited, itself founded by the British venture capitalist Sir Richard Branson.  Virgin Blue and its subsidiaries operate 76 aircraft to 31 destinations within Oceania, and on the continents of Australia, Asia, Africa, and North America.  Its corporate offices are located in the Bowen Hills area of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, and capital of the Australian state of Queensland.  Virgin Blue operates its largest hub at Brisbane Airport (IATA: BNE; ICAO: YBBN), and operates secondary hubs at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML), and at Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY).

related story

Virgin Blue-Air New Zealand alliance blocked (September 10, 2010)

original stories

Virgin Blue, Air New Zealand get alliance approval (Yahoo Finance)

Air NZ, Virgin Blue alliance approved (New Zealand Herald)

Virgin Blue's deal with Air New Zealand backed (BBC)

ACCC approves Virgin Blue-Air New Zealand alliance (http://atwonline.com)

Friday
Sep102010

Virgin Blue-Air New Zealand alliance blocked

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issued a draft ruling yesterday rejecting a proposed alliance between the national airline of New Zealand, and the Australian low-cost carrier Virgin Blue.  The Commission, part of the government of Australia, explained that such an alliance would be “likely to reduce competition” along routes between Australia and New Zealand.  Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue originally sought approval for the alliance in an effort to “compete more effectively” with the Australian national airline Qantas AirwaysDenial by the Commission of permission to form the alliance is the second rejection of this type suffered by Virgin Blue over the past week.  Virgin Blue was recently denied permission to form a trans-Pacific alliance with the American-based carrier Delta Air Lines, by the United States Department of Transportation.

Air New Zealand possesses a plurality of the market share on trans-Tasman routes, with 38 percent of the total.  Qantas and its associated short range carrier JetStar together run second, with 32 percent of the market share.  Virgin Blue runs third with 18 percent.

Virgin Blue is the second largest airline based in Australia, behind Qantas.  It was founded in 2000 by the venture capital conglomeration Virgin Group Limited, itself founded by the British venture capitalist Sir Richard Branson.  Virgin Blue and its subsidiaries operate 75 aircraft to 31 destinations within Oceania, and on the continents of Australia, Asia, Africa, and North America.  Its corporate offices are located in the Bowen Hills area of Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city, and capital of the Australian state of Queensland.  Virgin Blue operates its largest hub at Brisbane Airport (IATA: BNE; ICAO: YBBN), and operates secondary hubs at Tullamarine Airport near Melbourne (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML), and at Kingsford Smith Airport near Sydney (IATA: SYD; ICAO: YSSY).

Air New Zealand was formed in 1940 as Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL), as a joint venture among the British Overseas Airways Corporation, which held a plurality of the shares; Qantas Airways; the government of New Zealand; and the now defunct New Zealand carrier Union Airways.  The airline was nationalized in 1965, when the government of New Zealand bought all shares.  It was privatized in 1989, and re-nationalized in 2001.  Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries operate 99 aircraft to 53 destinations within Oceania, and on the continents of Australia, Asia, Europe, and North America.  Its headquarters is in Auckland, at a complex colloquially called “The Hub.”  As far as airports are concerned, the airline operates its largest hub at Auckland International Airport (IATA: AKL; ICAO: NZAA).  Its focus cities are the national capital Wellington, the nation's second-largest city Christchurch, and the American city of Los Angeles.

As of the time of this post, Air New Zealand is the largest airline headquartered in the land of the long white cloud, and is the only airline to circumnavigate the world.

original stories

Australia Blocks Virgin Blue-Air NZ Tie-Up (CNBC Online)

Double blow clips Virgin Blue's wings (Sydney Morning Herald Online)

Another regulator thwarts Virgin Blue (Sydney Morning Herald Online)