Australian airline Jetstar will launch its transtasman services from Auckland with an $89 fare sale from midday today.
The low cost carrier this morning confirmed plans to expand its New Zealand operations and has put up hundreds of seats to Sydney and the Gold Coast at $89 for just 89 minutes.
The airline, a subsidiary of Qantas, will begin daily flights out of Auckland from April 28, subject to regulatory approval.
Between eight and 10 per cent of Jetstar's 5000 weekly seats would be offered at the low price, although its normal one-way fares would be the industry entry standard of $199.
The $89 offer applies to travel between April 28 and June 18 and applies to selected days and flights and excludes travel on public and school holidays.
Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the airline would complement Qantas' four daily Auckland-Sydney services and he saw no reason for the parent carrier to scale back its New Zealand presence.
Buchanan said it was possible Jetstar could expand to fly domestic routes in New Zealand although it would depend on the impact of global economic crisis on demand.
He said the airline would "run the rule" over possible domestic routes - likely to be the main trunk - early next year and make a decision on whether to launch around the same time as it starts its services out of Auckland.
About 50 crew and backup staff would be needed to support the first aircraft to be based in Auckland.
The airline started services to four Australian cities out of Christchurch three years ago.
Set up in Australia in 2004, Jetstar now has about a 20 per cent share of that country's domestic market and also flies long haul routes to Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore and Hawaii.
The transtasman market has heated up in the past year as Australians and New Zealanders look to travel closer to home because of higher long haul air fares and financial pressure.
Pacific Blue has launched extra services out of Auckland, Air New Zealand has upgraded its aircraft on the route and Emirates is due to start its superjumbo A380 services from next February.