United Airlines and Air New Zealand Expand Cooperation to Form Joint Venture Partnership

Airlines to offer more options and flexibility for travel between the U.S. and New Zealand, and points beyond

Loyalty program members earn and redeem on both airlines

Mar 10, 2016, 12:00 ET from United Airlines

CHICAGO, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines and Air New Zealand today announced a joint venture revenue-sharing agreement, deepening the partnership between the two airlines, which are both members of Star Alliance. Under the new revenue-sharing agreement, the carriers will more closely coordinate sales and marketing in order to offer their mutual customers more travel options between the mainland U.S. and New Zealand, as well as to other destinations throughout the airlines' route networks.

The arrangement will begin when United launches its nonstop service between San Francisco and Auckland on July 1, 2016, subject to government approval.

"This joint venture will allow us to work more closely with Air New Zealand to optimize our trans-Pacific schedules and offer more convenient flight choices to our customers in both the U.S. and New Zealand," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer. "We look forward to continuing to work with Air New Zealand, an industry innovator and leader, to further grow our business in ways that will benefit our mutual customers."

"Air New Zealand is delighted to be working even more closely with our long standing partner to further grow the potential of the U.S. market," said Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand's Chief Executive Officer. "We know that New Zealand is a popular destination for American leisure travelers.  By working more closely with such a strong home market carrier as United we look forward to welcoming even more American visitors to enjoy our unique Kiwi tourism experience."

More Choice and Convenience

Air New Zealand currently operates nonstop service to five North American destinations from Auckland, including daily flights to San Francisco, twice-daily flights to Los Angeles, and five weekly flights to Houston.

With the start of United's San Francisco-Auckland flights on July 1, the two carriers will operate complementary service on that route, with their respective nonstop flights timed to offer travelers more choice and convenience across the airlines' combined networks.

Initially, United will operate the service three times weekly using Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, transitioning to daily service in November 2016, with larger Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

Since 2001, the United and Air New Zealand alliance has provided substantial benefits to the traveling public through codesharing, frequent flyer programs and distribution. The airlines currently codeshare on domestic routes in the U.S. and New Zealand, and on additional routes in North America, Central America, Australia and the Pacific Islands, as well as to London. 

Loyalty Program Benefits

United and Air New Zealand currently have a frequent flyer loyalty agreement as members of Star Alliance. MileagePlus and Airpoints™ members will continue to have reciprocal benefits to earn and redeem on both airlines. As their partnership grows, the carriers will work to further enhance these offerings for loyalty program members.

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is multi-award winning international airline which delivers uniquely Kiwi journeys to more than 14 million customers who fly to, from and within New Zealand each year. The airline operates on average more than 3,600 flights each week, connecting customers to 22 destinations within New Zealand and to international ports across Asia, Europe, Australia, North and South America and the Pacific Islands.

About United

United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000 flights a day to 342 airports across six continents. In 2015, United and United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. United operates more than 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates taking delivery of 20 new Boeing aircraft, including 737 NGs, 787s and 777s. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. Approximately 84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com, follow @United on Twitter or connect on Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.                                                               

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SOURCE United Airlines



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