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Air New Zealand's Tasman Express brings significant growth in Australia - New Zealand bookings

Travel News Asia 21 August 2003

Air New Zealand achieved a massive 44 per cent increase in bookings from Australia to New Zealand last week over the previous week following the launch of the new Tasman Express product.

Almost half of the total bookings in launch week were for travel in the busy Christmas - New Year period, reinforcing the message that Tasman Express provides low fares on every Air New Zealand flight between Australia and New Zealand, every day of the year - even during traditional peak periods.

Bookings have continued to grow strongly this week as trans Tasman travellers embrace the simplified fares structure, lower prices and greater availability of discount fares offered by the airline from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Perth.

Several wholesale travel agents have released discounted holiday packages to New Zealand following the launch of Tasman Express.

And in the past week there has been a tripling of bookings made by the public and travel agents via Air New Zealand's website.

"The first week of Tasman Express has proved to be very successful, not only for Air New Zealand but for the customers who have purchased the new fares," said Mr Paul Donovan, Air New Zealand's Vice President Australia.

"Our strategy of providing low fares every day, year round, on our trans Tasman services has struck a real chord with the travelling public, both in Australia and New Zealand" said Mr Donovan. "So has our simple four-step on-line booking process for both the public and travel agents.

"The fact that so many people are already booking for Christmas and New Year travel reinforces the point that we now offer low fares on every flight, every day of the year."

Mr Donovan said the Tasman Express product was developed in response to changing customer demands and the need for airlines worldwide to review the way in which they do business in the changing economic and competitive environment.

Tasman Express is based on four core fare types, and offers discounts of up to 36 per cent below the previous best levels.

The lowest level is Smart Saver, a "use it or lose it" discount to which no changes can be made once ticketed.

The next level is Flexi Saver, which can be changed up to 24 hours before travel subject to seat availability. A A$100 one way change fee applies.

The third level is Fully Flexi, an economy fare which can be changed without penalty.

The top level is Business Flexi, a discounted Business Class fare, which enables Air New Zealand to continue offering a premium service on the  Tasman routes for the corporate and luxury travel markets.

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