Europe and back for $1499 is Emirates' best deal to date

Emirates has joined the discount fare wars, with a $1499 return airfare to Europe from New Zealand.
JACK TAYLOR

Emirates has joined the discount fare wars, with a $1499 return airfare to Europe from New Zealand.

We've seen some cheap Europe airfares, but they are seldom with premium airlines. But a new Emirates fare announced today is tackling the competition head-on.

House of Travel is offering Europe-return economy airfares flying Emirates for $1499.

The fares are available for travel to Hamburg, Lyon, Brussels, Bologna and Oslo, departing Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The new Elbphilharmonie Hamburg opera house is a key attraction in Hamburg.
THIES RATZKE

The new Elbphilharmonie Hamburg opera house is a key attraction in Hamburg.

House of Travel's commercial director Brent Thomas says it's the cheapest fare Emirates has offered to Europe. And it's all about filling those planes in a competitive market.

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"A substantial influx of new carriers, routes and increased capacity ex-New Zealand, is fuelling competition and increasing affordability and accessibility," Thomas says.

The price war is reflected in the increasing numbers of New Zealanders travelling overseas. Statistics New Zealand says the overall growth between January and July 2016-2017 is 13 per cent.

Thomas says early-bird deals provide the best prices and create a natural spike in interest.

Five months ago, STA Travel mades headlines with a Europe return fare under $1000, which was matched by other travel agencies.

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That $979 deal was in partnership with Philippine Airlines, which would fly passengers to London via Cairns and Manila on its A320 aircraft, featuring overhead, rather than backseat, entertainment. 

At that time House of Travel marketing director Ken Freer said the airfares might not appeal to all travellers.

"Philippine Airlines is a three-star airline, so you may not get the same experience as you would on a higher rated airline. However, the cost of this flight may mean that for others, they can afford to get to London when they might not have been able to otherwise."

Garrick Loft, head of partnerships at APX Travel Management said the "hooks" attached to super-low fares often make them unsuitable for those who do not have a lot of flexibility with their travel dates or do not want to head to a destination in low season. 

The new Emirates deal is valid for travel between 16 January – 28 March 2018 and 16 April – 13 June 2018.

 - Stuff

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