3 Jul 2010

Chamber of Commerce against airline alliance

2:52 pm on 3 July 2010

A business group says allowing Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue to join forces on trans-Tasman routes could reduce competition and drive up fares.

The Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce has made a submission against the proposed alliance to the New Zealand Ministry of Transport and the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Unlike in Auckland and Christchurch, Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand are currently the only competitors on some Wellington routes.

The chamber says creating a monopoly would mean fewer seats, fewer flights and higher prices.

It says price is critical to making Wellington a destination of choice for Australian tourists.