The two airlines have today announced their intention to form an alliance under which Singapore Airlines would operate a daily Airbus A380 service between Auckland and Singapore, progressively replacing an existing daily service operated by a small Boeing 777-300ER.
Air New Zealand would operate a daily Boeing777-200ER service to Singapore from as early as December 2014, taking over five flights currently operated by Singapore Airlines and adding two more weekly flights, increasing the frequency to daily.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the additional capacity is great news for New Zealand's tourism sector.
"Singapore itself is an important and growing visitor market for New Zealand, with arrival numbers up by 13 per cent in the past year. But Singapore is also vital hub for Asia.
"There is a lot of airline capacity into Singapore from Europe and across Asia, but until now there has been a lack of onward capacity between Singapore and New Zealand, affecting our ability to grow visitors through Singapore.
"This has been a handbrake on the opportunity to grow visitor numbers from South and Southeast Asia. This announcement is a real boost for our new investments in emerging markets like India and Indonesia, with a lot more capacity and great connections from multiple cities right across Asia."
With new funding in last year's budget for emerging markets, Tourism New Zealand has expanded its presence and activity in India and in November opened a new office in Indonesia. Tourism New Zealand also has a Regional Manager based in Singapore.
"We will be working closely with Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines and the travel trade to maximise the opportunity this new capacity offers to bring more visitors from the region to New Zealand," Kevin said.