Virgin Australia aircraft can be seen behind a Qantas Airways Boeing 737-800 plane being inspected by an airport workman at Adelaide airport, Australia, November 12, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Air New Zealand and Qantas has launched an industry group that would tackle public policy issues affecting Australian and New Zealand travellers. The group called Airlines for Australia and New Zealand (A4ANZ) would enable its founding members to contribute to the reformation and policy debates on travel issues. A4ANZ would address concerns relating to airports, access to efficient infrastructure and taxation and fees.

The new group would be funded by members including Air New Zealand, the Qantas Group, Regional Express Holdings, the Virgin Australia Group, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Regional Express (Rex) and Tigerair Australia. The group would be composed of an independent chairperson and board members coming from a representative from each airline member.

Former Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Professor Graeme Samuel AC will be the independent chair of A4ANZ. He is one of Australia's respected leaders in the field of public service, law and investment banking. He served the industries for more than 40 years. He was the President of the National Competition Council, Chairman of the Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust and Commissioner of the Australian Football League. Currently, he is the Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow in Monash University’s Business School. He is also the President of Alzheimer’s Australia, chairperson of the Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Research Foundation, co-director of the Monash Business Policy Forum and a Councillor of the Australian National University.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said that cost and quality offered should be improved but the airlines were constrained by over recovery at key airports a legacy of under-investment. He said that A4ANZ would help the Australia and New Zealand achieve its vision to be competitive against many other attractive destinations.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said there was a continuous increase in airport fees and charges but airlines were keeping cheaper rates compare to the fares a decade ago. He said that the formation of the group would help them achieve regulatory reform. The reform would help in the sustainability and competitiveness of the airline industry in the int=terests of Australian and New Zealand travellers.

Virgin Australia Group CEO John Borghetti said that aviation was one of the tourism's greatest enabler as well as in trade and economic growth of the region. He said that investment in infrastructure and creating efficient airports were critical in achieving the airline's vision.

Rex Executive Chairman Lim Kim Hai was concerned about major airports ready to sacrifice critical regional interests. He was hopeful that Samuel and the board would be able to sustain the aviation industry.