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Air New Zealand launches Tasman Express

Search ASIA Travel Tips .com 12 August 2003

Air New Zealand today unveiled details of it new Tasman Express services.

Unveiling the details of Tasman Express fares which go on sale today for travel from October 29th, Air New Zealand's Senior Vice President Sales & Distribution Norm Thompson said the company was extending its successful Express concept to the Tasman route as promised.

"Air New Zealand's domestic Express Class was revolutionary - today's announcement is evolutionary and the next step in a fundamental change of direction for Air New Zealand.

"We have set the benchmark in everyday, low-cost travel on the Tasman for both Australians and New Zealanders."

Travellers in both countries will benefit from new fares to an unrivalled range of direct trans-Tasman routes between the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Perth, the Australian external territory of Norfolk Island and Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown plus connections to 20 other destinations throughout New Zealand.

Key features of Tasman Express include:

Sydney to Auckland one way Smart Saver fare from $243 inclusive of taxes and levies

Everyday lead-in Smart Saver fares up to 36% lower than current lead-in fares available

An average 26% reduction on the full range of lead-in fares, including Business Class

Fares available year-round, not only as ad-hoc promotional deals

On average, quarter of all seats available in the lowest Tasman Smart Saver fare range. On some flights, up to 40% of seats are expected to be available in this price bracket

Three simple, economy fare categories - complicated fare rules and conditions scrapped

Mix and match flexibility using a one-way fare structure

Booking online through www.airnewzealand.com.au saves up to $40 in service fees per return journey.

Tasman Express will retain a two-class structure, Business and Economy Class, and free onboard food and in-flight entertainment will continue, although the food and beverage service will move to a simpler, more contemporary style.

While newspapers and magazines will no longer be provided, except in Business Class, Air New Zealand's in-flight magazine will remain in both classes.

Mr Thompson said the new low fares are possible because of some fundamental changes the airline has made to its trans-Tasman model.

"We're working harder and smarter to deliver fares which will stimulate the market, both in terms of higher passenger numbers, and also directing more bookings via the Air New Zealand website. 

"Savings have been made with our new-look food and beverage service and the operational savings from the progressive introduction of our new Airbus A320 aircraft on the Tasman will also provide cost benefits."

Economy Class fares will follow the simplified structure of the airline's domestic Express Class including the removal of complex fare conditions requiring advance purchase or Saturday night stays.

Business Class remains a key part of the Tasman offering, reflecting the importance of the corporate market. While maintaining high standards of seat comfort and in-flight entertainment, lead-in Business Class fares will reduce by up to 26%, backed by high frequency on the Tasman with 114 flights per week.

Air New Zealand has also retained Business Class lounges and valet parking for the business traveller.

Drawing on the success of Air New Zealand's domestic Express Class, which is on track to carry more than one million additional passengers in its first year, Tasman Express is expected to grow traffic between New Zealand and Australia by 10%.

" New Zealanders have long viewed Australia as their favourite holiday destination and Air New Zealand has a proud tradition of flying hundreds of thousands of kiwi tourists - and sports fans - to Australia every year," said Mr Thompson. Australians also have viewed New Zealand as their favourite holiday destination.

"In the year to March 2003 the Air New Zealand Group (including our subsidiary airline Freedom Air) carried 11% of all passengers into Australia - almost one million people.

"We will continue to make a significant contribution towards the Australian tourism industry and work closely with the Australian Tourist Commission, State Tourism Agencies and the Australian Convention Association."

The arrival of the first of Air New Zealand's 15 new Airbus A320 aircraft in September will add a new customer dimension to trans-Tasman travel.

In its biggest single investment in future growth, Air New Zealand has earmarked the 146 seat, A320 to replace Boeing 737's and 767's on Tasman routes over the following year.

In addition to the extra capacity of the new Airbus planes, Air New Zealand will also use larger aircraft on key leisure routes, such as Auckland - Brisbane, adding an additional 10 per cent capacity at peak times to satisfy the seasonal demand.

HOW TO BOOK

Online booking has been crucial to the success of Express Class in the New Zealand market and will be equally important on the Tasman. 

This strategy puts the customer in control and gives them the choice of how they transact their travel arrangements. Booking online at www.airnewzealand.com.au means saving up to $40 in service fees that are applicable through other booking channels. Customers can book at any time, day or night, and save money.

For those who prefer personal service, call the Air New Zealand reservations Call Centre on 13 24 76, ( open 24 hours a day, seven days a week ) or visit an Air New Zealand Travelcentre. This personal level of service will attract a fee of $20 per person, per one-way booking. Customers are, of course, also able to book through a travel agent.

Tickets are on sale today for travel commencing October 29th.

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