31 Oct 2022

Air NZ bringing in more planes to try bring prices down

From Checkpoint, 5:08 pm on 31 October 2022

Air New Zealand's chief executive says more planes are on the way and with them the hope of cheaper airfares.

The national carrier is facing heavy criticism over the cost of its flights, with some passenger saying prices are two- to three-times what they were pre-pandemic. 

Chief executive Greg Foran said they were expecting half a dozen planes to arrive over the next seven months.

With more planes, prices would start to moderate, he said.

Foran said, "We are still doing everything that we can to bring capacity back as quickly as we can in also ensuring that our opening price points are there and available for customers."

Domestic travel ticket costs are up by 20 percent pre-Covid while international flight tickets costs are up by 50 percent from pre-Covid days, Foran said.

RNZ has reported travellers paying double or triple for airline tickets compared to pre-pandemic days.

A ticket to India, which had cost less than $2000 is now priced over $4000, while a flight to UK that previously cost about $2900 now cost anywhere between $5000 to $13000.

Checkpoint also reported domestic travel ticket rates of $700 for a return ticket from Auckland to Wellington, for this week.

Foran said the airlines' domestic business was running at 97 percent compared to pre-Covid days.

Strong demand was one of the key factors for the increase in ticket cost Foran said, and he urged travellers to book in advance.

Foran said the airlines was working quickly to get all planes - new and those grounded during the Covid-19 pandemic - back up and running.

"It's not just getting the planes. It's also making sure that you've got the pilots to fly them. You've got the crew. And you've got the engineers to maintain them. 

"We've bought back 2200 staff since the beginning of the year. They need to be trained and you know, re-calibrated and qualified.  

"So that's happening at world record pace."