Budget carrier Jetstar, which is owned by Australian airline Qantas, has fired another shot at Air New Zealand with the introduction of a loyalty scheme, where passengers can earn Qantas points on most domestic flights and , until the end of the year, join the frequent flyer programme free of charge.

To combat this competition, Air New Zealand is revamping and expanding its own Airpoints scheme, establishing relationships with high transaction value sellers of European cars and property. It plans to increase this type of deal in other sectors, too, such as telecommunications and jewellery.

Airpoints currently has 1.8million members, with around 250,000 new members joining every year. Air New Zealand owns around a quarter of Virgin Australia, which has also been expanding its own air miles programme.