Air NZ offers special fares

6:50 pm on 25 February 2011

Air New Zealand is introducing special $50 domestic stand-by fares on direct flights to and from Christchurch.

The fares are available from Friday and can be used for travel from Monday 28 February to midnight on Sunday 6 March.

Air New Zealand says it is also adjusting the prices of its domestic Christchurch airfares next week so that cheaper fares are available on all direct flights.

Compassionate international fares are also available.

Hundreds bed down at airport

Christchurch International Airport has become an overnight haven for people booked on flights out of the earthquake-stricken city.

Chief operating officer Andy Lester says on the night of the earthquake up to 400 people slept there, some accommodated in campervans requisitioned from airport tenants, others in tents the back of cars.

Another 200 stayed overnight on Thursday, and Mr Lester expects the number of people staying in the airport overnight to remain high until at least early next week

He says airport staff are doing all they can to make people comfortable as they await flights home, including giving them blankets and free fruit and water.