Virgin and Air New Zealand split on major partnership

Virgin and Air New Zealand split on major partnership

Virgin Australia (ASX: VAH) has announced that its trans-Tasman partnership with New Zealand's premier airline has come to an end.

Virgin confirmed late on Wednesday that its strategic alliance with Air New Zealand was being concluded by the New Zealand airline.

While there's no mention as yet when the partnership will end, the current ACCC authorisation for the alliance expires in October 2018.

Virgin's CEO and managing director John Borghetti (pictured) is optimistic about the future of his company when the partnership draws to a close. 

He says it give the airline room to spread its own wings in the trans-Tasman space.

"This provides opportunities for the Virgin Australia Group on the Tasman, including operating both the Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia brands in the market," says Borghetti.

"The Virgin Australia Group has had a strong presence in the market since 2004 and we will continue to enhance our offering to suit both the business and leisure markets.

"Virgin Australia will continue its strong focus on providing competition and outstanding service on the Tasman, which remains an important part of our network and strategy as an airline group."

The airline says there will be no immediate changes to current bookings on Virgin Australia between Australia and New Zealand and says it will attempt to ensure minimal disruption to customers.

Shares in Virgin Australia are trading flat at $0.22 at the time of writing (12:51pm AEST). 

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