Air New Zealand passengers can now fly between Auckland and Wellington every day of the year for less than it would cost some of them to taxi to the airport.
The airline launched a new daily service today called Night Rider, which will see every seat on the last flight of the day between the two major centres available for $29.
Flights will depart from both Auckland and Wellington at 10pm every night, Sunday to Friday.
On Saturdays, the Night Rider service will depart Auckland for Wellington at 9pm with the return leg departing Wellington at 10.30pm.
The $29 fares will be available on all 133 seats of the airline's Boeing 737 aircraft. Customers who want to check in a bag will have to pay an extra $10.
The new service will add the equivalent of about 100,000 low-cost seats per year between the two cities.
But just like the price, the late night flights will be no-frills.
Passengers will not receive Air New Zealand's usual in-flight drink and snack service and will not be eligible for Koru Lounge entry prior to departure.
Night Rider flights cannot be booked as part of a through fare domestically or internationally and will not be available to unaccompanied minors.
The services may not operate on key public holidays either.
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Rob Fyfe said the additional flights would help meet growing demand on the Auckland to Wellington route and further stimulate tourism in the two cities.
''There has never been a service like this in the market before with fares for an entire plane priced at $29.''
''Customers will now be able to fly between Auckland and Wellington for less than the cost of a third of a tank of petrol for the average family car.''
The Night Rider flights were part of a wider strategy to stimulate more people to fly, Fyfe said.
The strategy includes the introduction of standby fares on all domestic services, significant reductions to lead-in fares on both main city and regional routes and a substantial investment in new aircraft for the domestic fleet.
Night Rider seats are on sale now, with the first services to depart on November 5.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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