Emirates' right to fly the Tasman is under a cloud - potentially undermining a key reason Air New Zealand and Qantas say a transtasman code share arrangement should not worry travellers.
The Dubai-based airline runs four flights daily across the Tasman - three from Auckland and one from Christchurch - and is the third largest player after Air NZ and Qantas.
The Air Services Agreement between New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates, which governs Emirates' right to fly here, is intended to cater to and foster traffic between this country and the Gulf.
But only a small percentage of the people carried by Emirates on its Tasman flights are en route to or from the Gulf. The agreement places no limits on capacity but one of its principles is that each country's national carrier should "not unduly affect" the interests of the other country's national carrier on services it already offers on part of the same route.