Gloves come off in battle for trans-Tasman travel

Kangaroo fight.
The Trans-Tasman battle intensifies. Photo credit: Getty Images.

The battle for supremacy in air travel over the Tasman is heating up.

Virgin Australia has announced two new routes between New Zealand and Australia, as well as an increase in frequency on services already in place.

From October, when its alliance with Air New Zealand ends, Virgin will begin up to five flights a week between Sydney and Wellington - and up to four flights a week between Melbourne and Queenstown.

Its Auckland to Sydney service will increase to three times a day on weekdays, two on weekends.

Auckland to Melbourne will become twice daily and Auckland to Brisbane will increase to up to three times a day.

Flights between Christchurch and Melbourne will decrease from 11 flights a week to seven. 

The flights will be operated by Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which includes a business class cabin and Economy X, which offers 40 percent more legroom. 

The announcement follows the break-up of Virgin Australia's relationship with Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand announced its plans for new Trans-Tasman services within days of the break-up.

From December, Air New Zealand will fly up to four times a week between Queenstown and Brisbane and up to five times a week between Wellington and Brisbane.

The airline is also moving to a twice daily service out of Christchurch to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane on peak days.