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What you need to know

International aviation is governed by a network of thousands of bilateral air services agreements that set out the routes and capacity that airlines can operate between any 2 countries. To overcome these restrictions, airlines can enter into alliances with one another and agree to cooperate on all aspects of pricing, scheduling and service delivery in a particular market.

An airline alliance is an aviation industry arrangement between 2 or more airlines that agree to cooperate on a substantial level. A code-share agreement is a business arrangement between 2 or more airlines who want to advertise the same flight involving New Zealand destinations, but under their own airline names and flight numbers.

Under the Civil Aviation Act 1990, the Minister of Transport can authorise regulation of international air carriage competition — alliance and code-share agreements — that involve New Zealand destinations. Airlines must apply to the Minister, who must consult with the public before making a decision on the application. When agreements end, airlines can apply for the agreements to be reauthorised. This page contains information on major alliance agreements only.

Jul 2020: Air New Zealand–Air China Alliance

Air New Zealand and Air China have applied for reauthorisation to continue their Strategic Alliance Agreement until March 2026. Under the Alliance, the 2 airlines coordinate their operations between and within New Zealand and China.

More information and related documents

Jul 2020: Qantas–American Airlines Joint Business Agreement

May 2020: British Airways–Qatar Airways Alliance 2020

Aug 2019: Air New Zealand–Cathay Pacific North Asia Alliance Agreement

The Minister of Transport agreed to reauthorise the North Asia Alliance Agreement between Air New Zealand and Cathay Pacific for 5 years until 31 October 2024. The Minister first authorised the Alliance Agreement on 1 November 2012, and reauthorised it on 26 August 2015 for a period ending 31 October 2019.

More information and related documents

Oct 2018: Air New Zealand–Singapore Airlines Strategic Alliance Agreement

The Minister of Transport agreed to reauthorise the Strategic Alliance Agreement between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines until 28 March 2024. The Minister first authorised the Alliance in August 2014 for a period of 4 years.

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Mar 2018: Qantas–Emirates Master Coordination Agreement

The Minister of Transport agreed to reauthorise the Master Coordination Agreement between Qantas Airways and Emirates for 5 years. The Minister first authorised the Master Coordination Agreement in May 2013 for 5 years.

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Nov 2016: Air New Zealand–United Airlines Side Agreement

The Minister of Transport authorised the Side Agreement to the Alliance Expansion Agreement between Air New Zealand and United Airlines, which was authorised in 2002.

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