Travellers can celebrate the Fourth of July with cheap fares to the United States, including New York return for $899.

Flights to New York are on Qantas but are limited to the 150 customers and passengers must fly from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch via Sydney and Los Angeles.

Travel agent helloworld says the fares are ''staggering."

''I can't remember when it had been this low," said helloworld's New Zealand group general manager Simon Mckearney.

Advertisement

Passengers must also book three nights accommodation, or a tour or a cruise.

The agent is also offering limited $799 return fares to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

''The US dollar is in a good position for the outbound travel market at the moment and the US is becoming an ever increasingly popular destination despite public sentiment chiming in on a view of the 'Trump factor'. We, as travellers, seem to be ignoring any of their political views."

He said Qantas had ''made a statement in the market' with a range of attractive fares.

Other agents were also pushing fares below $1000 on the ultra-competitive route to Los Angeles, he said.

While travel to the US was up nearly 18 per cent in the past year, Mckearney said his firm was seeing some softening in the European and British markets where there were heightened security fears.

''It's been reported of late how we are resilient travellers - my view is that we continue to travel to Europe and the UK through the issues of late, as Kiwis couldn't get refunds or insurance even if they tried to cancel."

All outbound travel was up 11 per cent in May but travel to Britain, which has been rocked by terror attacks, was only up 1.5 per cent, he said.

Advertisement

Yield for airlines was a problem therefore capacity was being tightened with planes which could lead to higher fares out of New Zealand to Europe where they have been at historic lows.

Passengers flying the second sector to Europe were prepared to pay more than the Kiwis travelling through these same major ports.

''For example, its tougher to get a fare from Auckland to London through Singapore, LA or Dubai because the capacity for the low prices fares is less than someone else paying a higher fare picking up say the Singapore leg as their first leg.