Air NZ reduces domestic air fares

Air New Zealand has cut its domestic fares and introduced nationwide standby flights in an effort to get more Kiwis flying.

Yesterday, the airline announced its cheapest fares would fall by $10, following the introduction of a seat with carry-on luggage only (up to 7kg) fare on its regional services.

Among other deals, the airline was offering $59 stand-by fares until June 30 on many of the airline's 27 domestic destinations, and $79 one-way fares on its two longest routes, Auckland-Dunedin and Auckland-Queenstown.

Air New Zealand Australasia airline group general manager Bruce Parton said fare reductions were not a response to low-cost carrier Jetstar.

However, when fares, terms and conditions were the same as their competitors, customers preferred to fly with Air New Zealand, he said.

"What we are really targeting is leisure customers and seeing if we can get more people to travel."

The seat-only fares proved popular on flights across the Tasman and the Pacific when introduced 14 months ago, he said.

Following successful trials in Dunedin and Christchurch, Air New Zealand would also launch standby fares nationwide.

Mr Parton said the Dunedin trial aimed to see if it would stimulate the student and leisure market, while Christchurch presented an opportunity to see how the scheme performed at a hub airport.

"These series of trials gave us the confidence to say this product appeals to a niche market... it appeals particularly to students and to free and independent travellers and in particular to the older generation."

The airline was confident standby fares would improve the frequency of travel in and out of regional New Zealand, without affecting its business market, he said.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said it was great to see the benefit of competition in the New Zealand market and "it's the passengers that win".

"As the largest low cost carrier in the Asia Pacific we're committed to offering the lowest fares for travel within New Zealand, and have clearly demonstrated this since we started".



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