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Letter: The cost of air travel

Wednesday 27 September 2023 | Written by Supplied | Published in Letters to the Editor, Opinion


Letter: The cost of air travel
An Air New Zealand plane pictured on approach to Rarotonga International Airport on Tuesday. Photo: Cameron Scott/22051151

The excuses that Air New Zealand dream up for their high ticket prices from Auckland to Rarotonga, are just that, weak excuses, the only reason that they give that is genuine for their high prices is that they do this for "commercial reasons" to try and offset the loss of $591 million from 2021. I can understand this but don't try and recoup this loss just from their flights to Rarotonga alone.

Why don't they adopt the same policy for their flights to and from Fiji? Is it because Fiji Airways keeps them honest?  For most of the month of October, Air NZ cheapest ticket prices to Rarotonga from Auckland are mostly between $850 to $950. Compare these prices to Air NZ prices from Auckland to Nadi, typically $300 to $400.

Fortunately, tourists are still coming to Rarotonga in very high numbers, but these tourists, like most people, only have limited budgets, so for instance if they have say $5000 to spend on a holiday to Rarotonga, the close to $2000 spent on airfares takes a large chunk out of what they could spend on Rarotonga while they are here on holiday, so we are all suffering from their high prices.

The reason that most people visit Rarotonga is that they like the people and they like the island, and not because they like to travel on Air NZ. So if Air NZ didn't have Rarotonga they couldn't make the huge profits that they are currently making on this route. 

Also why don't they think "commercially" again. If they dropped their prices to a reasonable level they could greatly increase the number of people coming here and they could either operate bigger aircraft or increase the number of flights to the same level that they run to Fiji, and still make far greater profits than they currently make on their flights to Nandi.

Perhaps if Hawaiian Airlines could be persuaded to fly to New Zealand we might see the ticket prices drop.

Don Carlaw