27 Feb 2019

Air New Zealand regional price cuts: 'It's about time' - New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom

9:11 am on 27 February 2019

As Air New Zealand's slashed domestic airfares are fast selling out, mayors from the regions say they're worried there won't be enough flights to satisfy the demand.

no caption

Photo: 123RF

The national carrier is cutting prices in it's biggest price shakeup in more than a decade. Its lowest fares for 41 domestic flight routes are slashed by up to 50 percent.

Annually, Air NZ will make more than 750,000 seats available for less than $50.

Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon is calling it a win for the regions.

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom told Morning Report he welcomes the news.

"It's about time."

Flights to and from Auckland and Wellington at midday will start from $39, these same flights used to be about $100, he said.

However he said he doesn't want to see business people who catch earlier flights having to subsidize these prices.

"What we know is that where there isn't competition, Air NZ is running an unregulated monopoly and that's what has been really driving their domestic performance."

Taupō mayor David Trewavas also welcomes the changes.

"It's a signal to the regions that they do care about us," he said.

But he said flights are already selling out fast.

"The challenge for us is the actual availability of these flights," he told Morning Report.

"My question to Air NZ will be can we have enough flights to satisfy the demand."