Airline news and updates with Chris Frame

New codeshare for Qantas and Air New Zealand.

Trans-Tasman rivals Qantas and Air New Zealand have called an unexpected truce, with the recent announcement of a new codeshare agreement.

The development follows the recent break up of a long-standing partnership between Virgin Australian and Air New Zealand; which ends in October 2018.

That same month, the new Qantas deal will take flight. The agreement will see Qantas add its QF flight code to 30 domestic Air New Zealand flights, while the New Zealand carrier will reciprocate, codesharing on more than 80 Aussie routes served by the flying kangaroo.

“Our relationship with Air New Zealand goes back almost 80 years. We’ve been partners at various stages over that time and we have a lot of respect for them as a competitor,” commented Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

“A codeshare deal on our domestic networks makes sense for customers because it leverages the strengths we each have in our home markets.”

Frequent Flyer with Qantas

Whether the newfound agreement with Air New Zealand will bring additional Qantas Frequent Flyer redemption benefits is yet to be seen, with full details to be released before the October commencement.

But regardless, the Qantas Frequent Flyer program offers an array of benefits for frequent travellers. After joining for $89.50, points earned are allocated to Qantas travellers based on the distance, member status and travel class on the segment flown.

In addition to frequent flyer points, status credits allow those most regular travellers to move up the status tiers from bronze to silver, gold, platinum and platinum one. Each additional tier comes with added benefits, such as Qantas Club entry for gold frequent flyers and access to the airline’s excellent business and first lounges for those holding a platinum or platinum one card.

While status credits renew annually, frequent flyer points can be saved, so long as you add to your points balance every 18 months. Furthermore, while status credits can only be earned by flying (on Qantas, One World or select partner airlines) flying isn’t the only way to rack up a healthy frequent flyer points total, that can be redeemed for flights later.

You can accrue frequent flyer points with select hotels, car rentals, credit card partners, retail providers, restaurants and even for buying your groceries at Woolworths if you have a linked Woolworths Rewards Card.

Redeeming Qantas flights is simple and easy on the Qantas website; though can also be done over the phone (13 13 13) for an additional fee. Qantas offer two kinds of redemption options, Classic Flight Reward and Any Seat Awards.

Classic Rewards are the most affordable but are rarer and somewhat more restrictive than their Any Seat counterpart. However if your travel dates and times are flexible, this is potentially a great way to fly at a far lower price than booking a paid ticket – as all you have to cover using money is the taxes.

Any Seat Awards allow you to book any seat using points, but the number of points required is much higher than most Classic Reward seats. This may be a good option if you’re looking for a specific flight, or want to earn points and status credits on your travels – as these aren’t accrued when using Classic Rewards.

Just remember to select “Classic Flight Reward” if you want to explore the full range of availability as the default search on some browsers is for Any Seat Awards.

To learn more hop over to and remember all info provided is as of 31 May 2018 so check out the website for the latest benefits and offers to make your own assessment on the value of this program.

Virgin to launch Sydney – Hong Kong:

More good news for Aussie travellers heading to Asia as Australia’s second largest airline Virgin Australia will commence daily flights between Sydney and Hong Kong in July.

These services will be flown on the airline’s A330, which features a spacious economy cabin and best-in-class business suite. The flights will allow an array of connections in Hong Kong to allow Virgin frequent flyers links as far afield as London.

“Virgin Australia has been “shaking up” the Australia-Hong Kong market by introducing lower fares and its award-winning inflight product and service since it began its first Melbourne-Hong Kong flight last year,” CEO of Virgin Australia John Borghetti said.

The service will connect with Virgin Atlantic’s flights to London offering Virgin frequent flyers another option for flights to the UK and Europe.