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Your Views: Air NZ fares

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Air New Zealand is refusing to lower its airfares despite a fall in fuel prices - even after its main rival yesterday cut surcharges on transtasman and domestic flights.

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Here is the latest selection of your views:

John Richards
This increase in the fares is cheating the customers and every tax paying person in NZ because the public transport companies get subsidies from the Government and they also make so much money from the commuters and then they transfer their profits to their parent company in US, UK or Australia. So ultimately every NZ taxpayer is paying money for the profit of an overseas organisation at the cost of public without any intention of providing any service to the public.

A third world reaction from a third world airline.

Mike Fenton
Air New Zealand should be allowed to fall over like most has been companies, instead of been baled out by the taxpayers all the time.

I fly across the ditch frequently and after the last flight a couple of weeks ago I will never fly with them again. They have been a third rate airline for a long time and their attitude in how they treat their customers is typical of an organisation that is failing. They have this strange idea that the world owes them a living and if they have to rip off their customers to do it, so what? Their stranglehold over the domestic market and the average prices they charge is a joke. Kiwis need to wake up. Vote with your feet.

Bill Kennedy
Air NZ should pull its corporate head in and keep abreast of the opposition. Lower prices mean more seats sold. As a regular cross-tasman flyer,I will take the most acceptable cheap fare. If I have to fly Qantas then I will but I would prefer Air NZ out of patriotism but not if it means paying more than I have to.

Simeon Smith
I feel that the arrogance of our national airline is an absolute disgrace. Not only do they shut down viable parts of their business (ie Christchurch Call centre) they constantly keep increasing their fares domestically as there is no one else! It is only a matter of time before the likes of Virgin will teach our national carrier a lesson. Next time a domestic competitor comes along I urge everyone to vote with their feet and support them.

David Marsh
I have become more and more disappointed with Air NZ over the last few years. I used to fly Air NZ as my first choice to support our National airline, but now prefer Qantas where possible. They should definitely drop fuel surcharges as these charges were added as an extra fee due to the price of fuel being high. The fuel price has dropped and their competitors have done the right thing by cutting these fees. My other main gripe with Air NZ is the high charges for travelling to regional centres in NZ where there is no competition. When you book tickets to regional centres there seem to be no super saver fares available - I recently flew WGTN/Gisborne and it was $450 return - WGTN/AUCK is approx $200 return. Quite often the flights are only partly full, but there are still no cheaper tickets available.

Warren Ramsay
I am a New Zealander not currently residing in NZ however I have very strong views in respect of Air New Zealand. It has for many years been a 3rd rate carrier, often with a monopoly in the skies over NZ. I appreciate that NZ is a small country so you cannot expect flights on the hour between its major cities but Air NZ holds its passengers to ransom with its fare structures. It has also been seen to have very doubtful ethical integrity which was clearly demonstrated with its destruction of Ansett (which was in most cases a more superior airline to Air NZ in every sphere)The sooner Sir Richard gets some planes flying in NZ skies the better it will be for the flying public.

Doug Sumner
Well yet again how typical of Air New Zealand!Not just content with getting rid of an Australian icon, namely Ansett Australia, they now have the gore to rip off normal everyday New Zealanders. Question, is there a trend by any chance of any ex Telecom workers going to Air New Zealand? and installing this manta ie bad customer service, We can do what we want, you, the customer, expect us to overcharge you.Sound familiar!!. I have given up flying this so called airline because of bad and rude service, and as I am now flying quite regular between Australia and NZ, I will endeavour to make sure that some other airline gets my business as I did to get over here!.

Air New Zealands objective is to maximise shareholder wealth, which it has set about achieving through eliminating domestic competition (to the detriment of the average travelling public). Air NZ has managed to wipe out Origin Pacific through strategic dumping of capacity, is impeding Pacific Blue’s growth aspirations and not once but twice attempted to collude with its main competitor Qantas (through the 2002 alliance and the 2006 code-share). New Zealanders need to get over their parochial views of the national carrier and realise its actions are not in the national interest, but rather over-inflated profits. I am looking forward to the day where we pay reasonable fares to travel around our country.

Carl Forster
I find the fact that Air NZ are attempting to cut the wages it pays its workers and at a time when they are charging high prices for air fares both internally and externally very frighting. Especially when the NZ Goverment (and a Labour one) is a major share holder. Come on Air NZ and this Labour Goverment start acting like a good business.

Joseph Hopkins
Air New Zealand is entitled to make commercial decisions to maximise its profits and this does not always imply matching ones competitors exactly (would this not imply collusion?) A paltry $5 change in fuel surcharge pales into insignificance when compared with the benefits of judicious choice of booking and travel timings on the part of passengers.. Lets not forget the $5 reduction in Qantas fuel surcharges only affects fares sold in Australia, so New Zealand-originating passengers will be no better off, even if they choose Qantas. The governments bail-out of Air New Zealand has now resulted in a company worth twice the value originally invested in it. New Zealanders wishing for an airline regulated by misinformed populist public opinion would do well to consider der whether they would complain more loudly if Air New Zealand’s services were not available to them.

Bob Norton
I could not care less about Air NZ fares. I stopped flying Air NZ years ago because of the poor service and high prices. Unless there is absolutely no alternative I never use their services.

Julian Garrett
Qantas reduces its surcharge by $5. Whoopty doo. Thats almost insulting when one considers they are poised to break the billion dollar profit mark for the first time. Seeing as how the gouge you for everything else anyway, and their service is steadily declining, I think you’re better sticking with Air New Zealand. The service is measurably better.

Luke Mason
I am no supporter of fare increases and hated the pointless public transport increases recently. However I believe this is a different case altogther. Maybe our national airline is in such dire straits at the moment that they have to penny pinch to prepare for the future. Let us not forget that the government just bailed them out and now is not the time to get into more financial ruin. Maybe they have to hold off on the meagre $5.00 subsidy to reestalish themselves. Come on folks, maybe a bit of loyalty and support is needed. A pathetic $5.00 discount is nothing in comparison than to losing a national airline.

Jason Heap
Air NZ punters are getting ripped off, and from what I’ve heard from anyone and everyone that has ever flown with them nothing has changed at all. They have always had bad service for the price they charge. Personally I will be staying away from them.

K Amerson
It is really simple! There are several other airlines from which to choose. Air NZ is a dinosaur, both in marketing, and management.

Julian Light
As a New Zealander I want to support my national airline, yet Air NZ are increasingly making it difficult to do so. Qantas may be Australian, but as far as airlines go, its the cheapest option and so will be used by many as an alternative to the rising costs of Air NZ. Travelling on domestic flights in NZ has not become cheaper, even though we have been promised before that it would. Rather, the opposite in fact. Air NZ will be driven out of its own market, if it does not start to look out for its customers. Come on Air NZ, get with the programme.

Katja Warnicke
This is in regards to Air NZ not dropping their fuel surcharges. I am flying from NZ to Europe on a regular basis and have been comparing prices from different airlines for a while, and I am just wondering why Air NZ is always one of the most expensive ones, especially when you keep reading about how they are closing call centres and outsourcing wherever they can to cut costs. I flew with Air NZ a few times now, and the experience did not necessarily justify the price, so I am flying with other airlines now that give you a more comfortable flight for less money.

Bob Kingsley
It would appear that despite strong denials by the airlines that surcharges were not being used to hide fare increases, that at least in Air New Zealands case, that is a crock of the proverbial. If surcharges are there to cover specific costs then there can be no justification in holding those charges up when the costs are going down.Pity the chief executives job is not being exported along with the hundreds of others that he is overseeing. Fly Air New Zealand? Yeah right.

Andrew Smith
Air NZs behaviour is outrageous but hardly out of character for an arrogant monopoly who was bailed by the NZ taxpayer to the tune of over $850m. Unfortunately Michael Cullen handed over that cheque without asking for anything in return on behalf of the NZ taxpayer who saved the firm. The company’s business model is predicated on charging outrageously high fares in the domestic market and on international routes for NZ originating passengers to subsidise Australians taking cheap trips to the US on Air NZ. It is time as 85 per cent shareholder that Michael Cullen gives a message to Air NZs management that they treat the NZ public with a bit more respect and stop ripping us off.

Tim Hurle
New Zealanders should vote with their feet! I will look where possible to use Qantas now. However, thinking more laterally, image the response we would have got out of Air NZ, should the Qantas merger have gone ahead!

Chris Thomas
Air NZ were quick enough to create this fuel levy when fuel prices increased, yet they are not as eager to reduce it. Then should also taxi companies reduce their rates as fuel is so much cheaper now?

Point to note is how come Air NZ forward purchased fuel at a higher cost than other airlines.
John O’Hara
AIr New Zealand (and Telecom, Sky and others) are simply charging what the market will stand, and often they can get away with that because there is very little customer choice. Encouraging effective competition is the only way to prevent consumers in a small market like ours from being exploited. Looking at airfares charged in markets where there are many choices (eg NZ-UK) shows Air NZ will compete but only if it has to.

Susan Plunket
While the subject matter is of great interest, your article omits a very relevant point: that Qantas isn’t reducing fares for tickets sold in New Zealand, the reduction applies to tickets sold just in Australia. From the Radio NZ website: The airline’s Australian and New Zealand domestic flight surcharges will be reduced by more than A$5, but it will apply only to tickets bought in Australia. The Herald needs to do a better job presenting the facts for New Zealanders.

Len Hill
I think this whole fuel surcharge thing is ridiculous! Why dont they do what every other business does and just set their fares according to their costs. I get so annoyed with the extra taxes and surcharges that airlines add on. Everybody I know would rather they just said, The fare to Sydney (or wherever) is $400(or however much) and that covers everything. I would rather they increased their fare when they had an increased cost, rather than tack on another surcharge.

M Pilott
It seems patently ridiculous to ask for the publics views relating to such an article. Of course virtually no one will be happy with high prices. Given that the public does not have access to Air New Zealand’s finances, how could anyone objectively say wheter the surcharge is justified? With what information are we meant to justify their pricing?

Jeremy Ashcroft
Air New Zealand is an absolute disgrace not lowering its charges.I have no sympathy for them regarding landing charges if they want to gouge their customers.

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