Qantas launches sale fares

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images
Qantas has launched sale fares to a range of global destinations from Christchurch as new figures show the heat is coming off airfare increases.

The Australian airline is targeting the New Zealand market with special fares to over 15 destinations including Perth, London, Johannesburg, Bangkok and New York. Its budget arm, Jetstar is also promoting bargain fares starting at $135 for one-way flights between Auckland and Sydney.

One standout Qantas price is $1499 return to New York. Unlike other long-haul routes promoted, it is a non-stop flight for Kiwis as the airline flies between Auckland and New York four times a week.

The deal follows a House of Travel promotion this week flying on Qantas to New York for $2699 which includes four nights accommodation in a Times Square hotel and a sightseeing tour.

A snapshot of prices booked for last August (booked three months earlier) on Qantas was $2143 and Air New Zealand was $2368.

Competition across the Pacific is intense with big US carriers United Airlines, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines flying into New Zealand this summer.

Qantas says its fares start from $529 return to Sydney, with others including $1199 return to Los Angeles and $1549 return to Bangkok.

The fares are available from all four of New Zealand’s main gateways - Christchurch, Auckland, Wellington, and Queenstown.

The sale fares are available until January 27 and include checked baggage, complimentary food and beverages and seat selection.

Selected travel dates and days apply and fares may not be available on all flights or days and blackout periods apply.

Other Jetstar fares include Wellington to Brisbane from $169 and Christchurch to the Gold Coast from $179.

Last week rival Air New Zealand launched a range of sale fares.

It said “tens of thousands of seats” are now on sale and would be until Friday, January 19.

Flights from Auckland to Sydney are as low as $197 one way or $209 for Auckland to Melbourne. Further afield, Kiwis could get to the US for less than $550, with flights to Honolulu starting at $547 and Los Angeles from $697.

Other airlines are also promoting deals. Singapore Airlines put on sale NZ-Singapore flights from $1672 and NZ-London flights from $2542. Malaysia Airlines is selling return economy fares to Phuket starting at $1509, Bagkok at $1359 and London at $2479. Its business class Auckland-London fares are $8659.

Stats NZ figures today show although there was a spike in prices in the leadup to Christmas, the rate of increase in fares has been falling during the past year.

International air travel prices in December compared to November were up sharply in the leadup to Christmas, rising 42.0 per cent. But over the year, international air transport was 15.2 per cent cheaper.

Domestic air travel was up 6.9 per cent compared to November 2023 but only up 0.2 per cent compared to a year earlier.

New Qantas loyalty boss

Renewal of the Qantas executive continues with the appointment of Andrew Glance as the new CEO for its loyalty business unit.

Glance is currently the executive manager of commercial partnerships and Qantas Business Rewards, having worked in several senior roles in Qantas Loyalty since 2016.

Before that, he held senior finance positions across the organisation, ranging from flight operations to inflight services, since joining Qantas in 2002.

His appointment follows the resignation of current loyalty boss Olivia Wirth in October 2023.

He will move to his new role, including becoming part of the Qantas Group leadership team, once Wirth leaves at the end of February.

Qantas Group chief executive Vanessa Hudson said Qantas frequent flyers have access to up to five million reward seats and late last year the airline made more available during the European summer.

‘‘We’re working on some more improvements that we expect to announce in coming months, which we think will be very well received by our millions of members,” said Hudson.

The airline faces an image rebuild this year after a series of blows in 2023, including being found to have illegally sacked staff during the pandemic and claims it sold tickets for flights that didn’t exist.

By Grant Bradley