There has been quite a turmoil recently with airlines making partnerships outside of alliances. Qantas stroke a deal with Emirates that is a rival of Qatar that is set to join Oneworld in late 2013/early 2013. AirBerlin is getting cosy with Air France-KLM, although it is a new oneworld member.
Now, Air New Zealand, Star Alliance carrier, is forming a strategic partnership with Cathay Pacific, oneworld alliance member, for flight between Auckland and Hong Kong. The airlines will codeshare each other’s flights on this route and will extend (some of) the frequent flier benefits regardless which airline operates the flight.
Also, the Air New Zealand will drop the Hong Kong to London flight, but continues to operate Auckland to London via Los Angeles.
The last flight from Hong Kong to London on Air New Zealand will depart on March 3 and the flight from London to Hong will depart March 3rd as well. Customers that are booked on Air New Zealand on that route beyond the March 3rd will be rebooked on Cathay Pacific flights.
It is very interesting to see all these partnerships popping up between airlines that are not within the same alliance. Hope that this arrangement works for Air New Zealand. If I would be flying from Auckland to London I would rather not go via Los Angeles due to the rather unpleasant transfer experience.