Air New Zealand has quietly revised its Partner Awards seat booking system from a zone based to distance based model in the last week. This affects the number of Airpoints Dollars required to fly on a large number of international carriers.

What is the impact of the change?

The changes came into effect on 6th November 2018.

The biggest impact is likely to be felt by travellers looking to fly a Partner Airline on longer distance routes ex New Zealand.

Broadly speaking, economy fares may be more attractive whilst first-class fares become less so. Business class fares (our favourite sweet-spot) have moved in both directions.

Which airlines does this impact?

There are 3 broad classes of agreement where Partner Rewards can be redeemed – Star Alliance partners, Co-operation partners and codeshares.

Star Alliance partners include 27 other airlines, including Air China, ANA, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and United.

In addition, some routes, flying Cathay Pacific qualify as a Co-operation partner:

  • Cathay Pacific on flights between Auckland and Hong Kong (NZ4992/NZ4994/NZ4993/NZ4995) and between Christchurch and Hong Kong from December 2017 (NZ4998/NZ4999)

The Codeshare airlines below also qualify, provided the flight is booked on an Air New Zealand flight number ie NZxxxx.

  • Aerolíneas Argentinas
  • Etihad Airways
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • SilkAir
  • Qantas

How many points will I need to travel?

Firstly, you will need to know in (km) the straight line distance from A to B. A great webpage for this is Distance Calculator.

Per one-way sector (km’s) Economy Class A Business Class A First Class A
0 – 999 125 250 400
1,000 – 1,999 250 450 600
2,000 – 2,999 350 700 1,000
3,000 – 3,999 450 900 1,500
4,000 – 4,999 550 1,200 2,000
5,000 – 7,499 650 1,500 2,500
7,500 – 10,000 800 1,750 3,000


Taxes and other surcharges must be paid for in cash.

How do I redeem a Partner Award flight?

Log in to the Air New Zealand partner reward flights portal here