Air NZ ramps up flights and staff as travel resumes

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As Air New Zealand ramps up, bringing in 40,000 more seats from tomorrow and hundreds of workers, it warns ticket prices are being affected by fuel costs.

Photo: camphoto/123RF

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said Checkpoint that the price of fuel “has evolved quite quickly”.

“Over the past few months we’ve actually seen the price double and I made reference to the fact that getting to Los Angeles it cost us a little over $40,000 to fill up a Dreamliner and now it’s ‘ is around 96,000 USD, so ticket prices have increased by an average of around 20% and more.”

He said that was an average, but in some areas prices could be higher “because generally the further you travel the higher the cost of fuel, as a percentage of your ticket”.

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Foran said the airline passes the majority of the fuel price increase on to passengers.

“The other thing that affects that is how many seats we have in the sectors. We have rebuilt as quickly as possible.

“We now have around 40,000 additional seats per week live on our international routes and… some of that is going to help keep prices down.”

Air NZ has reopened 14 new destinations over the next few weeks, Foran said.

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He said that with school holidays just weeks away, domestic routes would return to 100% of their pre-Covid-19 capacity; across Tasmania and the Pacific Islands, around 75% of pre-Covid-19 levels; the rest of the international routes about 50 percent pre-Covid-19.

“By the end of the year, nationally, we would expect to be fully back to pre-Covid, so maybe even a little better than 100% and the rest of the world around 75%. “

The airline was seeing a significant number of bookings, which could change depending on the impact of inflation on consumers, he said.

“At this point we feel in pretty good shape and the demand is pretty strong.”

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After the interview, Air New Zealand confirmed to RNZ that the money it had collected in credit supplements had been returned to the bank. To avoid paying fees, customers can pay using the POLi online payment tool, Airpoints dollars or cash if booking through a travel agency.

Regarding seat selection costs, he said customers who check in at the kiosk can select their seat at no additional cost and a large number of customers use this option.

“Seat selection pricing depends on a number of factors, including your Airpoints tier status, destination and the fare you select when booking.”

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