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Chirpy Chirpy, Cheap CHeap fares

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Chirpy Chirpy, Cheap CHeap fares

Old 20th Jan 2004, 15:59
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Not NZ anymore sadly!
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Cool Chirpy Chirpy, Cheap CHeap fares

From NZ Herald this morning

Air New Zealand is selling one-way tickets to Sydney and Melbourne for $119 - half the price of a year ago.

Even with taxes added, travel agents say the fare (available until next Tuesday) is still a good deal - about $363 to Sydney and $344 to Melbourne return.

The return fares are $161 cheaper than those offered by Emirates, the new carrier that has been flying between New Zealand and Australia since last year.

They are also $20 cheaper than the Qantas special fares, which are on sale for the same period as those of Air NZ.

Flight Centre national marketing manager Shane Parlato said the prices were "unbelievable"

"A year ago to fly from Wellington or Auckland to Melbourne or Sydney return was $529 on Air NZ or Qantas," he said. "On special it was $449."

Mr Parlato said increased competition had helped reduce the cost of transtasman flights.

In the past 12 months a lot of new carriers, including Royal Brunei, Emirates and Pacific Blue, have entered the market.

This has increased the number of seats available to and from Australia and has offered travellers more variety.

It has also resulted in cheaper flights for travellers as the airlines try to undercut each other.

Newcomer Pacific Blue will offer introductory one-way flights to Australia for just $99 (plus taxes) when it starts flying out of Christchurch and Wellington in March.

Travel on Air NZ's cheap tickets, from February to June, coincides roughly with Pacific Blue's cheap introductory fares.

Air NZ spokesman Mark Tod said the fares reflected Air NZ's commitment to have the lowest everyday fares across the Tasman.

"Air NZ currently faces intense competition from a dozen other airlines on the Tasman and we are committed to ensuring we remain competitive and the market leader."

Mr Parlato said that it was great to see Air NZ responding to the cheaper flights offered by other airlines.

"These guys have been given some stiff competition which is just the best thing that ever happened.

"It looks like Air NZ has taken a stance that they won't stand for it, which at the end of the day is good for the consumer because more people can afford to go on holiday.

"It's what we have been asking for. It's what the consumer has been asking for."

Consumers Institute chief executive David Russell said the deals for international flight were getting better and better, especially for people able to take their holidays outside the busy period.

But he warned travellers to shop around and check the fine print.

Return ticket prices (including taxes)

Pacific Blue
From Christchurch or Wellington to Sydney $297
From Christchurch to Melbourne $275

Air NZ
From Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch to:
- Sydney $363
- Melbourne $344

From Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch to:
- Sydney $383
- Melbourne $364

Emirates From Auckland only:
- Sydney $524
- Melbourne $505

Prices determined using advertised airfares then adding $25 departure tax and $100 Sydney tax or $81 Melbourne tax.
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