3 Mar 2004

Positive Pacific response to lowered Air New Zealand fares

4:24 pm on 3 March 2004

Response has been positive within the Pacific airline industry to Air New Zealand's launch of lower fares to some regional destinations.

The new Pacific Express fares are available for trips between New Zealand and Nuku'alofa, Apia, Nadi and Rarotonga.

The Managing Director of Air Rarotonga, Ewan Smith, says the Pacific Express fares bring about changes in the market which create exciting opportunities.

His counterpart at Royal Tongan Airlines, Logan Appu, agrees that it's a positive thing that the market is becoming more competitive.

And in Samoa, the Chief Executive Officer of Polynesian Airlines, John Fitzgerald, says Air New Zealand offers undoubted benefits to the travelling public in terms of reduced prices but his airline will continue to concentrate on quality of service.

"Product delivery is another question - whether you get what you pay for. If that's what the customer wants, then it's what the customer will get and if we don't tailor our product to a price sensitive market we are foolish. Polynesian maintains its status as a full service airline. We might get to the stage where we drop our prices in some cases to match competition but we won't drop our service standards."

The Chief Executive Officer of Polynesian Airlines, John Fitzgerald