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Air New Zealand Labelled "Perennial Pinocchios" By Pacific Blue

23/07/2008

Pacific Blue has labelled Air New Zealand's latest odd media release the work of a “Perennial Pinocchio” once again trying to pull the wool over consumers' eyes by claiming it offers value for money when the exact opposite is true.


"Really they should stop wasting their time on PR spin, smoke and mirrors and put some effort into fair competition, rather than a poor attempt to mislead air travellers," Pacific Blue General Manager, Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns said.


In a media statement today Air New Zealand alleged that Pacific Blue’s new domestic baggage charge of $8 for 23kg, to begin in September, will make it more expensive for travellers to fly. This is rejected by the airline.


“This is another example of Air New Zealand crying foul when it has no moral authority to do so. Less than 2% of people carry more than 23 kg of baggage and the fare comparisons speak for themselves, but I guess it's all just part of the national airline attempting to divert attention from its continual gouging for domestic air travel and the negative effect this has on the New Zealand economy.


“What a load of rubbish, a simple price comparison between us dispels this claim,” said Mr Hamilton-Manns said.


“For example, Pacific Blue is offering fares on its midday Auckland-Wellington service tomorrow for $65.95 one way. Air New Zealand is charging $348 for a flight that is departing at the same time. You'd have to carry a helluva lot of baggage to be worse off than paying Air New Zealand's fare!”


“With Air New Zealand you can pay $348 to get from Auckland to Wellington or with us you can pay $65.95. With our new charge then the price would be $73.95 if you had 23 kg of baggage. Does Air NZ really think Kiwis can’t see who is really ripping off customers?” asks Mr Hamilton-Manns.


“Before Pacific Blue brought competition to the market the joke was that Air New Zealand’s slogan was not “Amazing journeys. Every day.” but “Amazingly expensive journeys. Every day.” said Mr Hamilton-Manns. “ They really don’t seem to like competing with a true low-fare carrier.”


“This is yet another move from the established bully boy to try and harm us. Well, it won’t work.”


Pacific Blue said its highest fare on the Auckland-Wellington sector was $259.95, which includes 32kg of baggage, and was nearly half the price of Air New Zealand’s highest fare on the same route, which is over $500.


“Even when you pay the $500 you don’t get any extras like lounge access or valet parking. You’re not even assured of getting a cookie. But what really hurts the travelling public is Air New Zealand’s unfair Airpoints program, which they often won’t reward you even when you’ve paid through the nose for the fare.”


Pacific Blue said Air New Zealand had lost its way in the market and didn’t know where to turn.


A great example of how out of touch Air New Zealand had become was its current online advertising in Australia for a 72-hour sale, which features a map showing that Christchurch is located somewhere south of Dunedin.


“It’s symptomatic of Air New Zealand. They’ve got their way for so long, they think they can even shift a major New Zealand city without anyone noticing.”


“Today’s media statement is amusing, our PR team is filing them in a book of audacious claims. But really it's just another example of Air New Zealand flailing around taking pot shots at a true low-fare airline when it should really be concentrating on lowering New Zealand regional airfares, where it still runs a lucrative monopoly."


About Pacific Blue, Polynesian Blue, and Virgin Blue Airlines

Pacific Blue and Polynesian Blue, along with Australian domestic airline Virgin Blue, operate a fleet of 68 modern Boeing 737 and Embraer E-Jet aircraft flying to 24 Australian and eight international destinations including New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.