Qantas today extended the first ever franchise of its brand to another airline - Ansett New Zealand.
The newly branded airline will be known as Qantas New Zealand, operated by Tasman Pacific Airlines of New Zealand. It will offer Qantas products and services, with aircraft carrying the Qantas livery and front line staff wearing a Qantas uniform.
A launch date for the new airline will be announced shortly.
Ansett New Zealand Chairman, Mr Ken Cowley, said the deal was a huge win for the airline and its customers.
“We are thrilled that Qantas has extended to us their first ever franchise agreement,” Mr Cowley said.
“We now have an airline which is majority owned by New Zealanders for New Zealanders, while at the same time we can introduce and launch one of the world’s strongest airline brands into the country. Through our affiliation with Qantas, we will be able to offer the benefits of a global alliance through the oneworld member airlines.
“Having strong alliance partners such as the oneworld family is extremely important to a small airline such as ourselves and will bring an enormous amount of muscle to our sales and marketing operations and what we can offer our customers. Lounge access rights will improve dramatically and our sales executives will be able to present clients with just one deal for all international and domestic travel.”
Qantas Chief Executive, James Strong, said the move would strengthen the airline’s presence in the South Pacific region.
“Qantas has been serving the New Zealand market since 1940. Today we offer more than 160 flights a week between Australia and New Zealand, as well as providing services between New Zealand and the USA, South America and Tahiti,” Mr Strong said.
“We are delighted we can extend our commitment to flights within New Zealand, which is the airline’s largest market after Australia, and look forward to having Qantas New Zealand on board,” he added
Following the launch of Qantas New Zealand, the airline will continue to operate under its current organisational structure and will work closely with Qantas on areas of co-operation.
The first aircraft to feature the new livery will be unveiled in July. The fleet will be painted progressively over the rest of the year.
Commuter flights operated by subsidiary Rex Aviation are in for a change of style as well. The “Ansett New Zealand Regional” brand will disappear and these flights will operate under their own brand. This separate new identity will debut later in the year.