‘We are talking about a pure codeshare on the respective domestic markets,’ Wallace says. ‘There is no alliance on the Tasman. We will compete there with Qantas, Virgin Australia and everyone else. We are just giving four to five percent of our customers a level of access (to a third party destination in Australia beyond their gateway). We are not switching from Virgin Australia to Qantas – it’s a different thing. We have a lot of codeshare partners and it is important not to over analyse this arrangement (with QF).’ Wallace says seats to suit has been one of the most successful strategies Air New Zealand has adopted as it provides flexibility at the low cost end of the market while still allowing for a full service operation. ‘We are confident we can compete without an alliance and fly the Tasman in our own right.
Multi channels still way to go: Wallace
A multi channelled approach to the distribution chain is as important as ever, Air New Zealand’s chief revenue officer Cam Wallace reiterated at the CAPA Summit in Hilton Auckland this week. ‘Ten years ago we said travel agents would be dead (in a decade). The reality is we now have more sales through third party distribution – not only with the traditional travel agents but also OTAs (online travel agents) and other digital channels.’ He says new emerging channels give both opportunities and challenges. ‘One question is how do we deal with the big digital players – will they be more of a threat than a partner?’