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Latest Inflation Figures Show Positive Impact of Pacific Blue for Kiwi Domestic Travellers


Latest inflation figures showing a significant fall in the price of New Zealand domestic air travel have been welcomed by the country’s newest domestic airline, Pacific Blue.

Consumer Price Index figures released yesterday show the price of domestic air travel fell in the last three months of 2007.

“Prices for domestic air transport made a downward contribution for the transport group, falling 4.6 percent this quarter,” Statistics NZ said in a release.

Pacific Blue launched its new domestic routes between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on 12 November last year offering lead-in fares up to 30% cheaper than previously available.

Pacific Blue’s General Manager Commercial, Adrian Hamilton-Manns, said the latest CPI figures underline the airline’s aim of making domestic travel more affordable for New Zealanders.

“When we entered the domestic market we said that Kiwis had been paying too much for too long for domestic travel and that there was definitely room for new competition.

“Given the latest CPI figures, we’re delighted to see the positive impact that our entry has had on the market.”

Mr Hamilton-Manns said Pacific Blue was committed to low fares and was very happy with the support it was receiving from the travelling public.

“Kiwis are supporting us because we’ve made travel more affordable and provide a high-quality, fun service. We look forward to their ongoing support so that we can continue to keep the air fair on the current routes and expand our service into other regional centres.”

Pacific Blue said latest domestic passenger numbers from Wellington Airport were also positive and showed that the airline’s new local services were supporting overall growth in domestic travel and tourism.

The airport said this week that domestic passenger numbers for December 2007 had risen by more than 16%. Majority owner Infratil noted that the increase had not cannibalised the market from existing airlines.

“One of our goals in launching a domestic service was to get more New Zealanders flying more often and the figures from Wellington Airport are an example of how real competition can stimulate a market,” Mr Hamilton-Manns said.

Pacific Blue operates a young, fuel-efficient fleet of 737-800 Next Generation aircraft and offers over 240 flights a week within New Zealand and to Australia, Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and the Cook Islands.