Starfish discount air club canned

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 06:56 10/02/2014

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Air New Zealand has dumped a discount card programme aimed at regional airports, including those around the South Island.

The national airline launched Starfish 3 years ago with the aim of stimulating regional air travel.

Starfish was mainly aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.

Members of the Starfish club could get up to 30 per cent off domestic Air New Zealand flights.

An Air New Zealand spokesman on Friday said the programme had been less effective than expected.

"The viability of the programme relied on the membership base increasing travel frequency but unfortunately this has not occurred in a material way over the time it has run," he said.

Effective from this month, the airline would no longer renew Starfish cards, although card-holders could continue to use theirs through until their expiry.

The spokesman said Air New Zealand was committed to ensuring there were more cheap fares than ever for regional travel.

"This has seen the airline offer 28 per cent more seats for under $100 into and out of regional centres over the past five years," he said.

"In 2014 Air New Zealand will further strengthen its commitment to regional New Zealand by offering more deals every day to our regional destinations with a series of planned initiatives."

Recently the airline had improved airpoints programme earning rates for many regional routes, he added.

The Starfish Card has been available to anyone who wanted to use it to purchase airfares to and from regional destinations.

A $200 card gave customers an automatic 15 per cent discount on all regional air fare types, but those who bought an $800 card would qualify for a 30 per cent discount.

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- Fairfax Media

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