An Air New Zealand flight leaves Rarotonga for Auckland. Until midnight Friday (NZ time), travellers can snag a one-way flight from Auckland to Rarotonga for as low as $278 with Air New Zealand. The travel dates for the sale are April 1 to 10, and May 1 to June 23. DANILO REYES/ISLAND CAPTURE.CK/21071648
Airfares between Auckland and Rarotonga have dipped to under $300 as New Zealand’s flag carrier airline launches a flash sale in the midst of the Cook Islands’ slow tourism season.
the Air New Zealand sale is for travel dates between April and June this year,
Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council president Liana Scott said the
announcement was having an impact on flights outside the specified period –
with dates in February enjoying equally low fares.
it’s a good enough deal, people will make that spontaneous booking,” Scott
different sales throughout the year, and we see a spike in bookings as soon as
a campaign comes out.”
midnight Friday (NZ time), travellers can snag a one-way flight from Auckland
to Rarotonga for as low as $278. The travel dates for the sale are April 1 to
10, and May 1 to June 23, 2024.
Islands Tourism chief executive officer Karla Eggelton said April to June were
“traditionally shoulder months” of the country’s tourism season, so the sale “targets
a very useful travel period for us”.
bookings from April onwards are already looking reasonably strong, and
occupancies at hotels appear to be tracking ahead of pre-Covid levels,”
sales are vital. They drive visitation not only for the sale period, but also
for travel periods at other times of the year.
is a key strategy and approach to drive customers to book.”
deal is part of Air NZ’s New Year international sale offering cheap flights to
other Pacific Islands destinations as well as Australia, China, Taiwan,
Indonesia, the United States, and Canada.
other parts of the Pacific being part of the sale, Eggelton said her experience
was Rarotonga “normally performs exceptionally well” compared to its island
said Rarotonga benefited from being marketed alongside other destinations, but
was often excluded from wider sales because it was a “popular destination”
when people are booking that special holiday and looking at the different
Pacific Islands destinations – if we’re not in those campaigns and people are
looking at airfare differences, we end up looking quite expensive.”
and February were the “biggest booking months” for flights, Scott said.
airlines are trying to get people in the habit of booking early.”
the Cook Islands typically experienced a slow tourism season from November
until March, tourism operators had reported a “good” December and a “strong
start” to January – finally beginning to “feel the dip” in the second week of
the new year, Scott said.
property is at 80 per cent capacity, while others say they are close to empty.”
children in Australia and New Zealand going back to school at the end of
January, the “only way” to bring more visitors to the Cook Islands during its
low tourism season was to grow the North American market, Scott said.
were more likely to make a last-minute booking, while North American and
European visitors tended to book their Cook Islands holidays four months to a
year in advance – so flight sales tended to be done internally among airline
staff, Scott said.
general manager of the Muri Beach Club Hotel also said that she wanted to see
an increase in the size and number of aircraft coming into Rarotonga from New
Zealand during the high season.
are some days – especially for people going back – where there are three, four,
five days of no availability. That means there’s no potential to fill vacancies
on the ground.”
said the amount of accommodation had increased, with providers who had left the
tourism market during Covid-19 to focus on long-term stays starting to switch
back to short-term.
believed air capacity from Auckland was “sufficient” to handle the number of
visitors Rarotonga was “normally able to secure” through to June.
“We would welcome more air capacity from July onwards,” she said.