Codeshare partners Etihad Airways and Air New Zealand have signed a wide-ranging agreement to provide reciprocal line maintenance services in Melbourne, Australia, and Los Angeles in the USA.

Etihad Airways will soon perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance on Air New Zealand aircraft in Melbourne at its Tullamarine engineering facility. In return, Air New Zealand is already performing full line maintenance for Etihad Airways in Los Angeles.

The maintenance services to be performed in Melbourne and Los Angeles may include transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled engineering services and fault repairs for the aircraft systems and passenger cabins.

Etihad Airways started a daily non-stop service between Abu Dhabi and Los Angeles on 1 June 2014, using a three-class Airbus A340-500 aircraft. From mid-July a Boeing 777-200LR will operate the route. Air New Zealand has operations from Los Angeles to Auckland, London-Heathrow and Rarotonga.

Air New Zealand operates an average of five flights a day from Melbourne to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, as well as a seasonal service to Queenstown.

Jeff Wilkinson, Etihad Airways Senior Vice President Technical, said: “Our successful codeshare partnership with Air New Zealand goes back three years and we are delighted to build on this foundation by working together in the technical area.

“Etihad Airways’ Melbourne line maintenance facilities, services and personnel are world-class, and we look forward to servicing Air New Zealand’s aircraft while they perform similar line maintenance for us at their modern facility in Los Angeles.

“We also expect this announcement to lead to further employment opportunities at our Melbourne line maintenance facility in the future.”

Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton, said: “We look forward to working with Etihad Airways both as a customer and service provider. Our Los Angeles maintenance team currently provides services to several airlines and we are excited to add Etihad Airways to the list.”

In addition to Melbourne and Sydney, Etihad Airways’ existing line maintenance facilities are in Chicago, Dublin, Mumbai, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Manchester and Singapore.

In recent years Air New Zealand has earned a global reputation as one of the world’s most innovative airlines. Partnering with international celebrities such as Bear Grylls, Sir Peter Jackson and Betty White to share brand, retail and safety messages in a fresh and engaging way enables the airline to engage with a wide audience and further build an already strong brand globally.

This year the airline will take delivery of three of 10 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners currently on order. Air New Zealand is the global launch customer for the modern, fuel-efficient aircraft which use 20 percent less fuel than similar size alternatives.