Air NZ decision could see cheaper flights to Auckland

By Matthew Martin

1 comment
240413bf17 Rotorua International Airport's new chief executive Alastair Rhodes. 24 April 2013 Rotorua Daily Post Photograph by Ben Fraser
240413bf17 Rotorua International Airport's new chief executive Alastair Rhodes. 24 April 2013 Rotorua Daily Post Photograph by Ben Fraser

Air New Zealand will soon introduce larger aircraft for its weekday Rotorua to Auckland flights to cater for higher demand from travellers.

The airline says ticket prices for the flights could be as low as $79, depending on demand.

Rotorua International Airport chief executive Alastair Rhodes said he welcomed Air New Zealand's decision to introduce its larger Q300 aircraft on its weekday morning flight between Auckland and Rotorua.

The flights will commence in February, with the departure time for the Auckland to Rotorua flight moving from 8.05am to 8.30am and the Rotorua to Auckland flight leaving slightly later at 9.30am instead of 9am.

Mr Rhodes said the 50-seat Q300 aircraft provided an additional 31 seats per flight, the equivalent of a 300 per cent annual seat capacity increase.

The scheduling change and the potential for Air New Zealand to offer $79 lead in fares are positive developments for Rotorua businesses and residents alike, he said.

"The fact Air New Zealand is providing the increased capacity without any decrease in frequency means we get the benefit of an efficient and cost-effective schedule for locals and visitors to and from Rotorua and the wider Bay of Plenty region."

Mr Rhodes said the decision demonstrated real commitment from Air New Zealand to meet the needs of Rotorua, Bay of Plenty and Auckland travellers.

"In addition, with most international visitors flying into Auckland International Airport, the domestic Auckland to Rotorua link is a critical tourism route for us.

"As such, the additional capacity of the Q300 will also have a positive spin-off for the local and regional tourism sector."

Air New Zealand group general manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Cam Wallace, said the service would prove popular with leisure and business travellers and tourists.

Larger aircraft and the extra capacity that would provide would not only mean that Air New Zealand could offer more seats, but more seats at better prices.

Fares for the flight will remain the same, but there will be a much larger number of lower fares available than in the past due to the increased capacity, he said.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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