Singapore Competition Watchdog Invites Public Comments to Planned SIA-Air New Zealand Alliance

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | February 6, 2014 1:59 PM EST

Singapore's competition watchdog has sought the public to comment on its Web site on the planned alliance between Singapore Airlines Ltd (SIA) and Air New Zealand Ltd (Air NZ).

The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said the announcement was in relation to a notification it received on Jan. 30 which claimed the proposed strategic alliance could restrict competition on air travel between the two countries.

A woman walks past a Singapore Airlines (SIA) logo at a ticketing booth at Changi airport in Singapore May 14, 2013. Singapore Airlines Ltd, caught between the rapid emergence of Gulf carriers and low cost Asian rivals, is attempting a big strategy overhaul to revive growth, pushing into the low-cost segment and expanding its regional network. Picture taken May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A woman walks past a Singapore Airlines (SIA) logo at a ticketing booth at Changi airport in Singapore May 14, 2013. Singapore Airlines Ltd, caught between the rapid emergence of Gulf carriers and low cost Asian rivals, is attempting a big strategy overhaul to revive growth, pushing into the low-cost segment and expanding its regional network. Picture taken May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su

In January, SIA and Air NZ announced of an alliance that will allow the latter to fly the Auckland-Singapore route and the former to operate the Airbus A380 to New Zealand. The union could boost by up to 30 per cent year-round over time the existing capacity between Singapore and New Zealand, the two companies had said in a joint statement earlier.

Passengers of the two airplane carriers will get access to greater network and loyalty benefits over existing arrangements, as well as seamless transfers, improved access to lounge facilities, improved recovery times in the event of a disruption, and improved benefits accrual and redemption by members of each party's respective frequent flyer schemes when travelling on the other Party's services.

But the notification the CCS received states the alliance contradicts Singapore's Section 34 of the Competition Act "which prohibits agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings or concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within Singapore."

Expected to push through in December 2014, Air New Zealand will fly daily between Auckland and Singapore, while SIA's daily Singapore-Christchurch service will continue.

Apart from SIA and Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Qantas' budget unit, and Malaysia Airlines are the other airlines that connect Singapore and New Zealand.

The public can comment on this Web site - http://www.ccs.gov.sg/content/ccs/en/Public-Register-and-Consultation/Public-Register.detail.proposed-strategic-alliance-between-singapore-airlines-ltd-and-a.html

Deadline for submissions is on or before Feb. 26, 2014.  

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(Photo: / )
A woman walks past a Singapore Airlines (SIA) logo at a ticketing booth at Changi airport in Singapore May 14, 2013. Singapore Airlines Ltd, caught between the rapid emergence of Gulf carriers and low cost Asian rivals, is attempting a big strategy overhaul to revive growth, pushing into the low-cost segment and expanding its regional network. Picture taken May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Edgar Su
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