The city of Wellington could benefit from extra flights to Australia if a merger is allowed between Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue.

The city of Wellington could benefit from extra flights to Australia if a merger is allowed between Air New Zealand and Virgin Blue.Competition watchdogs are currently deciding whether the two airlines could form an alliance on their current trans-Tasman operations. If approved then it could mean an additional 117 flights to New Zealand per year from Australia, reports the Dominion Post.

The two airlines have sought approval to work together in order to compete with the current Qantas-Jetstar group that operates on the same route.

However, a draft decision from the Australian Competition and Consumers Commission rejected the merger on the basis that it could be anti-competitive.

Air New Zealand was named as 2010 Airline of the Year by the Air Transport World magazine awards and handles around 12 million passengers each year.

A combining of Virgin Blue and Air New Zealand resources could mean an additional 83 flights to Sydney from Wellington, 18 flights to Brisbane and 16 flights to Melbourne.

Written by Erin Marshall.

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