Air NZ launches sale in chaotic week

Air New Zealand has launched a sale for its regional routes in a week marred by cancellations.

"Today is a good day to book with our shrunk domestic fares," says an email newsletter from the airline.

Air New Zealand is offering flights from $39 one way between Auckland and Kerikeri, and Auckland and New Plymouth.

There are also $49 flights between Auckland and Palmerston North, Napier and Christchurch, and Rotorua and Wellington.

Flying from Auckland to Dunedin will set back travellers $79.

Travellers are advised that they'll find the best availability after 13 January.

This comes during a torrid week for the national carrier, with it being forced to cancel a number of flights due to ongoing problems with the Rolls-Royce engines.

Up to 14,000 passengers will be affected by the flight cancellations, which were largely scheduled over the holiday period.

Air New Zealand is understood to be working with an alliance partner to lease another aircraft to alleviate the impact.

The airline has leased five aircraft from other airlines at different times over the past 18 months to help maintain its schedule and it may take a week to firm a deal to get another.

This does, however, mean that certain flight schedules will have to change.

Consumer NZ chief executive Sue Chetwin said if passengers affected by Air NZ's flight cancellations were unhappy with the alternative itinerary available to them, they would be able to claim a refund and compensation.

"The cancellation is within [the airline's] control, they've known about these engine issues for a while now," she said.

Chetwin said it was important to get in touch with the airline or travel agent as soon as possible in an event like this.

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