Regional airfares could fall
Cheaper flights to and from Marlborough could be available after Air New Zealand reviews its prices on regional services.
The Express asked Air New Zealand when cheaper flights would be available from Marlborough after the company announced last week it would reduce prices by up to 30 per cent on lead-in fares between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
The fare reduction is for travel from September 1 and includes fares such as Christchurch to Wellington for $49, Auckland to Wellington for $49 and Auckland to Christchurch for $59.
A mid-week flight from Blenheim to Wellington, booked two months in advance, costs $59 but goes up to $89 when booked three weeks ahead.
A flight to Christchurch booked two months in advance costs $89.
Air New Zealand head of public affairs Mark Street said regional services were also under review, with the first of the new 68-seat ATR72-600 turbo prop aircraft arriving in October.
Discussions were under way with key regional stakeholders.
"We are talking with airports, tourism providers and regional tourism organisations to see how we can improve tourism in the regions," he said.
Fares were set on how much it cost to run a service on a standalone basis and Marlborough fares were down 10 per cent compared with three years ago, he said.
"It simply costs more to run a smaller aircraft on a cost per seat basis," he said.
Air New Zealand operates 116 return services each week between Marlborough and Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington on board 19-seat Beech 1900D aircraft and 50-seat Q300 aircraft.
- The Marlborough Express