By James Wilkinson
While the Australian airfare war in recent months has focused on the US, the spotlight will shift to the New Zealand next week as Jetstar commences Sydney-Auckland flights and Emirates increases A380 services across the Tasman.
Emirates is ramping up Sydney-Auckland A380 flights
The arrival of Jetstar on the route next Tuesday (Apr 28) has again put pressure on prices, with discounting now rife across the board for the three-hour sector.
Within the last month, Jetstar was offering $99 flights each way including taxes on the new Sydney-Auckland and Gold Coast-Auckland sectors (everyday fares start from $169 each way), while late last week Emirates was offering return flights for $305 including taxes on the A380 superjumbo.
Emirates has been flying the A380 three times per week between Sydney and Auckland, and this increases to daily on May 1. The $305 return airfare was just $88 each way before taxes, which is a tick under Pacific Blue’s latest deal of $94 plus taxes on the route.
Air New Zealand weighed into the battle yesterday (Apr 20), with the launch of a new $2.5 million ‘free domestic flights’ campaign in Australia.
The airline’s ‘big NZ shout’ campaign runs for three weeks until May 10 and is in support of the New Zealand government’s $2.5 million funding boost to lure more Aussies across the Tasman.
Air New Zealand is giving away more than $2 million in free domestic travel, by providing a free one-way NZ domestic flight with every one-way direct trans-Tasman flight booked.
“This campaign offers access to our network of 27 domestic ports,” said Air New Zealand group general manager – short haul airlines, Bruce Parton.
“It means for example, someone could fly from Sydney to Christchurch, take a free flight to Nelson and experience a few days in the region, before flying for free again to Wellington or Auckland for a stop before heading back across the Tasman.”
In support of the campaign, Air New Zealand is offering one-way fares to New Zealand for $209 including taxes, with the real saving coming on the free domestic tickets.