Acting Business Editor for the NZ Herald

Europe for under $1000? Airfare war heats up

Cheap fuel and airline competition has sent airfares plunging. Picture: A China Eastern Airbus A330-343X Photo / byeangel from Tsingtao, China - Creative Commons.
Cheap fuel and airline competition has sent airfares plunging. Picture: A China Eastern Airbus A330-343X Photo / byeangel from Tsingtao, China - Creative Commons.

Return flights to Europe are being sold for under $1000 in yet another sign of fierce competition between airlines.

Flight Centre is selling return tickets from New Zealand to Amsterdam via Shanghai for $999.

The service is with China Eastern Airline only and the $999 fares are for travel between September 8 and October 16 this year.

The number of seats available at that price will depend on China Eastern Airline's capacity over that period, a Flight Centre spokeswoman said.

Flight Centre general manager Sean Berenson said increased plane capacity and competition had seen record low airfares in the last six months.

"The market is very competitive right now which has been driven by increased competition on popular routes. This has driven a frenzy of sales activity which is great for the consumer while it lasts."

Five years ago the average cost of a return airfare to Europe retailed between $2,000 and $2,500, he said.

- NZ Herald

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