Cut-price air fares to Asia and other destinations go on sale today and an agent says New Zealanders sick of the patchy summer have already been booking more trips overseas than usual.

Air New Zealand is offering one-way flights to Singapore for $469 per person, Shanghai for $499, San Francisco for $599 and Buenos Aires for $649 as part of a New Year sale.

House of Travel marketing director Ken Freer said the fares were generally lower than those offered at the same time last year.

The fares advertised come with conditions and must be booked by January 20.


Already his firm had experienced solid inquiries during the summer holidays.

"They're searching and booking their travel both in store and online and I think that's a reflection of the weather in parts of the country over the holidays which has been a bit iffy. People have had a bit of time at home instead of the beach and they're giving some thought to where they will go in 2017," said Freer.

Traditionally Air New Zealand would go to the market with fares for Pacific Rim destinations in January and there would be a lag before other carriers would offer their sale fares to Europe.

This was likely to change this year, he said.

"What we're going to see this year is those airlines are going to come into the market earlier - in the next couple of weeks. No matter where anyone wants to travel in the world there's going to be some great pricing out there."

The chances of getting similarly good deals on the return flight depend on the destination, how heavy taxes were on the leg home and whether passengers were prepared to opt for another carrier.

Freer said other carriers were also offering good deals. Qatar Airways was offering some limited $1209 return fares to Amsterdam.

Emirates, which has five Airbus A380 services out of New Zealand every day, has just released return fares to Australia from $439, Asia $899, Indian sub-continent $1299, Europe $1499, United Kingdom and Africa $1599, the Americas $1799 and the Middle East $1899.

Flight Centre NZ has calculated that in 1947 an average return airfare to London from Auckland would have cost approximately $1170, equivalent to more than $110,000 today.

That would equate to 85 weeks' pay for the average worker. In 2016 the same airfare cost on average $1700 or 1.2 weeks' pay.

Flight Centre's general manager product, Sean Berenson, says travel is booming right now and Kiwis are making the most of it.

"Where 10 years ago our average customer might have saved to take one holiday every second year, many are now booking two or three annually and there aren't really any places that are out of reach."