Commuters between Auckland and the capital have been given an early Christmas present, a price war in airfares between the two cities.

Air New Zealand has undercut Jetstar airfares and slashed tickets between Auckland and Wellington to $7 each way on its late night flights, in the week leading up to Christmas.

Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe said the carrier was making domestic travel more affordable than ever before and the low fares should be a boost to retailers in each city.

"We reckon there are plenty of Wellingtonians and Aucklanders who would love to jump on a plane and head out of town to do their Christmas shopping. Equally, a getaway to either of these two great cities for as low as $14 return per person will be a Christmas dream come true for many Kiwis," Mr Fyfe said.


The special Night Rider $7 fares are for travel between 17 and 24 December, and do not include checked baggage.

Air New Zealand launched its Night Rider service a week ago today. The service ensures all 133 seats on the last Boeing 737 flight of the day between Wellington and Auckland sell for one low price.

Jetstar, the Qantas-owned budget carrier, had seats between Wellington and Auckland starting at $19 each way, with no checked baggage.