Domestic airfare cuts 'great' for Otago

Air New Zealand's move to cut domestic fares has "got to be great" for Otago, with a flight between Auckland and Dunedin or Queenstown now costing as little as $79.

For the second time in nine months, changes have been made to the airline's domestic trunk routes fares, as it launches an extra 6000 seats a week into the market over the coming year.

Air New Zealand Group Australasia general manager Bruce Parton said the airline was taking an "aggressive approach" to fill the additional seats.

A "lead-in", seat only, one-way fare between Auckland and Dunedin, bought on the internet, has been cut from $93 to $79.

Similarly, a fare from Auckland to Queenstown would cost $79, compared with $99, while a flight from Wellington to Queenstown would cost $69 compared with $79.

The new fares were on sale now and were effective for travel from September 1.

The airline also reduced its lead-in flexi plus fares with flights from Auckland to Queenstown reducing 41% from $356 to $209, and fares from Auckland to Dunedin reducing 34% from $360 to $239.

Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said the fares "ought to be really attractive to domestic travellers" and a good way to "generate interest" in domestic travel for both business and leisure.

The South Island continued to feel the effects of the Christchurch earthquake so "initiatives to spark interest in travel have got to be great things".

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd was "really pleased" with the fare cuts.

"It's very positive from our point of view and we are delighted. I think anything that encourages new travellers in particular, or encourages short-term decision-making about 'Let's grab and fare and let's go on holiday' is really good news.

"Overall it's got to be positive for both the number of visitors that take advantage of those fares and perhaps how frequently people will visit ...people might see those sorts of fares as opportunities to visit on a more regular basis," he said.

Mr Parton said pricing on regional services was also under review and the airline was "engaging with key regional stakeholders around the country who are interested in growing tourism in their markets".

"We want to stimulate demand to get more Kiwis flying and with more than US$1 billion of domestic aircraft on order we are ready to support a rebound in the economy.

"We are committed to growing our business and today's further price drop builds on our leadership in lowering domestic airfares."



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