Air NZ Transforming Tasman and Pacific Island Services

( Air New Zealand has announced a transformation of its trans-Tasman and Pacific Island services commencing later this year.

Air New Zealand Group General Manager Short Haul Airline Bruce Parton says Air New Zealand will be introducing a range of exciting developments, setting a new benchmark in terms of competitive pricing, choice and the airport experience.

“The Tasman is one of the most fiercely competitive airline markets in the world, with eight airlines competing for the 5.8 million passengers who fly between Australia and New Zealand each year,” says Mr Parton.

Air New Zealand has a market share of 2.1 million of these passengers and plans to maintain this.

Furthermore, the airline carries more than half a million passengers to and from the Pacific Islands annually.

“For more than a year, we have had a team gaining a better understanding of what customers want in these highly competitive markets and the innovative changes we are going to introduce are based on what they have been telling us,” says Mr Parton.

The trans-Tasman and Pacific Island transformation will include:

* Cutting the price of Air New Zealand’s lead-in fares.
* Reducing the airport waiting time by an average of 45 minutes when new kiosks and a streamlined check-in process are introduced.
* Introducing a new way in which airfares are sold to provide more choice than ever for customers.
* Standardisation of the Airbus A320 Tasman Pacific fleet to one class with 171 seats.

Mr Parton says Christchurch will be the first market to receive the new product offering, with fares on sale from 29 April for travel late-August, before it goes on sale network-wide in early September with travel rolling out from late-November

“Closer to launch time we will be revealing how much we will be slashing the cost of travel, but it would be fair to say the savings on lead-in fares would buy an extra night’s accommodation for a family of four on their holiday to the Gold Coast.”

Air New Zealand has the largest capacity share of any airline on the trans-Tasman market, with 280 flights per week and 72 Pacific Island flights each week.

“With our high frequency of flights across the Tasman and to the Pacific Islands, Air New Zealand is the airline of choice for the majority of both business and leisure travellers departing New Zealand,” says Mr Parton.

“Unfortunately, demand for business class seats out of Wellington and Christchurch has been diminishing to the point where just one of the eight seats is being sold on average per flight. This is predominantly due to companies and Government departments in these cities cutting back on spending and adopting a policy of economy class travel, which underpins the rationale for standardising the A320 fleet in one class configuration.

“Business class will still be available out of Auckland on wide body aircraft flights at prime times that meet the needs of corporate travellers and those Business Premier customers connecting with our long haul services.”

Air New Zealand was recently awarded the Air Transport World Airline of the Year Award, with the judging panel praising Air New Zealand’s innovation and agility to deliver effective customer solutions.

Media Release 19 March 2010 from