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Air New Zealand and Etihad Airways agree to codeshare

Air New Zealand and United Arab Emirates-based Eithad Airways announced today that their codeshare agreement will be in effect starting at the end of March.

Air New Zealand will place its codeshare symbol (NZ) on Etihad flights between the Etihad hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport (IATA: AUH; ICAO: OMAA) and the Australian cities of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.  Air New Zealand will also place its codeshare symbol on all three daily flights operated in each direction by Etihad between Abu Dhabi International and Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) in London.

For its part, Etihad Airways will place its codeshare symbol (EY) on various domestic and trans-Tasman flights operated by Air New Zealand, and involving the New Zealand cities of Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch, and Queenstown; and the Australian cities of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne.  According to the press release from Etihad, the EY symbol will even be placed on Air New Zealand's flights between Auckland and the Chinese capital city of Beijing.

The partnership also allows members of each airline's frequent flier program to earn and redeem points with the corresponding program of the other airline.  Both airlines' press releases clarify that Etihad Airways' EY symbol will only be placed on trans-Tasman services inbound to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne, Australia (IATA: MEL; ICAO: YMML), from various New Zealand points of origin (Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch).  Air New Zealand flights outbound from Melbourne to those three destinations are not part of the codeshare.

Although the codeshare does not begin until the end of March, travelers with Air New Zealand and Etihad will be able to buy tickets in each other's networks (for travel at the end of March or later) toward the end of this month.  The codeshare is still subject to regulatory approval.

The United Arab Emirates is a sovereign federation of seven emirates on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, immediately to the east of the dominant occupant of that peninsula, Saudi Arabia.  It is a nation of contrasts, bordering Saudi Arabia along the extremely desolate Rub'al-Khali desert, but also boasting modern cities and surroundings that Westerners sometimes find surprisingly familiar.  Abu Dhabi is the capital and the most populous of the emirates.  Another emirate, Dubai, is dominated visually by the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Air New Zealand also announced that its newest Boeing 777-300ER would make a special visit tomorrow, to Wellington International Airport (IATA: WLG; ICAO: NZWN).  The capital city's largest airport has one bituminous surface 6,400 feet (1,951 meters) in length, which is insufficient length for the Boeing 777-300ER when the plane is filled to capacity with passengers, luggage, and fuel.  But with "only essential staff on board," the 777-300ER will be able to land and take off from Wellington International safely, according to Air New Zealand.

The 777-300ER will be assigned to Air New Zealand's Auckland-Los Angeles route, and its Los Angeles-London route.  Air New Zealand also flies non-stop between London and Hong Kong, and between Hong Kong and Auckland, making it the only airline to circumnavigate the globe.

Historically and politically often grouped with Australia, but geographically and geologically Polynesian, New Zealand is one of the southernmost inhabited places on the planet.  It was the native country of the late mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary, and is also where the celebrated Lord of the Rings trilogy of movies was filmed, by New Zealander Sir Peter Jackson.

related stories

Air New Zealand increases its ownership share in Virgin Blue (January 21, 2010)

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

Malév and Etihad sign a codeshare deal (June 9, 2010)

original stories

Air New Zealand and Etihad Airways in codeshare agreement (Air New Zealand)

Etihad - Air New Zealand codeshare continue Australasia drive (Etihad Airways)

Air New Zealand's newest aircraft makes flying visit to Wellington (Air New Zealand)

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Reader Comments (2)

This is very interesting, indeed. Just wondering if this might bring Etihad airlines closer to become a Star Alliance partner.

February 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHotel Tester

Thanks for the news! This is interesting and could open the way for some new arrangements.

February 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlimpopo accommodation

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