Wellington Scoop

Air New Zealand cuts fares to Christchurch

Press Release – Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has capped one-way domestic fares for flights directly to and from Christchurch at $139 to assist customers needing to travel there to support those affected by the shooting tragedy.

The airline has seen a huge increase in demand for travel to and from Christchurch over the past 24 hours and flights have been generally operating at or near capacity.

Compassionate fares

The airline has had compassionate fare assistance in place since Friday which has seen it offer free travel to immediate family of deceased as well as discounted compassionate fares to other affected friends and family with close to 100 bookings made so far, including a number of group bookings.

The airline’s contact centre teams has been asking callers since Friday about their reason for travelling to Christchurch to ensure they proactively identify customers travelling to support the families of the victims.

Ticket flexibility

Air New Zealand introduced travel flexibility on Friday allowing any customer booked to travel on services to or from Christchurch over the weekend to automatically have the option to change or rebook any tickets without incurring any change fees or difference in fare. Customers are advised to consult the airline’s Travel Alerts page for more details.

All destination Christchurch domestic bookings made with Air New Zealand after 3.00pm on Friday will be refunded back to the level of the reduced fares.

Other support

Beyond the measures Air New Zealand has introduced for customers affected by the shooting tragedy in Christchurch, it has also been working closely with the Prime Minister’s office to support the transport of key people to Christchurch including emergency services personnel.

The airline has transported more than 70 Police officers from around New Zealand to Christchurch and various emergency support personnel, including eight specialist doctors from Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Tauranga.

The airline has also been working with the wider Muslim community to facilitate travel to Christchurch to assist with arrangements.

Report from RNZ
Air New Zealand has put on more flights and dropped fares to and from Christchurch following an intervention from Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

The national carrier had flights between Auckland and Christchurch last night priced as high as $800 for a return trip.

A spokesperson for the refugee community, Guled Mire, made his frustration clear on social media about the highly priced flights for friends and families hoping to attend funerals for those killed in the mosque shootings on Friday.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, is the shareholding Minister for the Crown which owns 52 percent of the airline. He made contact with the airline. He said on Twitter the airline had the option of offering compassionate fares at certain times and he believed this should be one of them. It was the airline’s call and “it was the right one”.

Flights have now dropped to an average $150 dollars one way, and the carrier is providing free trips for immediate family members of those killed as well as discounts for wider family. The reduced fares are applicable for most main centres to and from Christchurch.