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Steady Rise In NZ Airfare Prices

American Express Survey Shows Steady Rise In NZ Airfare Prices

Auckland, September 27, 2000 – Airfares for travellers from New Zealand are continuing to rise steadily, according to the latest American Express Airfare Index.

Airfare prices are being hit by rising fuel costs, and the impact of a decline in the value of the New Zealand dollar against the United States Currency, American Express said.

Full economy airfares rose just 0.1% in the September quarter, but are up 5.2 % for the year, the AMEX Airfare Index showed. Business class fares for New Zealanders rose 0.3% for the quarter and 4.6% for the year, while First Class fares rose 0.3% for the quarter and 2.7% for the year.

Eric Meierhans, Director, American Express Consulting Services Group, said the international price of oil continued to be volatile, and this was impacting on the cost of flying.

“We have been witnessing high oil prices for some time now - the figure still remains above US$25 per barrel, with regular rises exceeding US$30. This obviously impacts the cost of doing business for airlines, and they are passing that cost through to their customers.

The rise in airfare prices for New Zealanders was broadly in line with the price increases in the rest of the Asia Pacific Region, although the pace of increase in New Zealand did appear to be slowing.


INDIVIDUAL MARKET RESULTS

New Zealand
Inflation: 2.0% 21 City-Pairs, 14 First Class fares, 20 Business Class fares Qtr-over-Qtr Year-over-Year

FARE DESCRIPTION Q3’99 Q4’99 Q1’00 Q2’00 Q3’00 Q3’00/Q2’00 3’00/Q3’99
First Class 100.0 100.0 101.1 102.3 102.7 0.3% 2.7%
Business Class 100.0 100.0 100.5 104.2 104.6 0.3% 4.6%
Full Economy 100.0 100.0 100.0 105.0 105.2 0.1% 5.2%
Discount Economy 100.0 100.0 100.0 104.6 104.8 0.2% 4.8%
Lowest Peak-Season Excursion 100.0 100.0 100.0 101.4 101.6 0.2% 1.6%
Lowest Off-Season Excursion 100.0 100.0 100.0 101.3 101.6 0.3% 1.6%


Australia – Increases occurred across all airfare classes in Australia over the last quarter, with Full Economy increasing 5.2% on all routes, Discount economy increasing overall by 5.3% and Business Class increasing 5.5%. Much of this increase was due to the introduction of a GST on Australian domestic routes from July 1 2000.

Hong Kong – During the third quarter, First Class airfares from Hong Kong increased 1.4%, Business Class increased 1.1% and Full Economy increased 0.7%. Over the past year, First and Business Class airfares have both increased 5%.

Japan – First, Business, Full and Discount Economy airfares all increased 1.8% in the third quarter. In spite of this increase, airfares from Japan have generally risen by less than many other countries in the past year.

Singapore – First and Business Class airfares from Singapore increased 1.3% in the third quarter. Over the past year these premium airfares have risen 6.6% and 8.7%.

Thailand – Full Economy airfares from Thailand increased 2.9% during the quarter and Discount Economy increased 3.2%. Airfares from Thailand have now increased 8.2% in all classes over the past year.

Taiwan – Airfares from Taiwan all increased half a per cent during the quarter.

India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Pakistan – Airfares in all classes from these countries were mostly increased by a small percentage during the third quarter. This result follows substantial airfare increases from all these countries in the second quarter.

About the Index

The American Express Asia Pacific Airfare Index is published every quarter as a guide to airfare changes and trends in the Asia Pacific region. It is produced exclusively for American Express by Access Economics. The Index surveys 947 published airfares across 165 city-pairs throughout Asia Pacific, available for purchase on the first day of the quarter.

As well as providing critical analysis of airfare trends in the region, the Airfare Index assists organisations to measure and keep track of their performance in terms of business travel expense management.

Each edition of the Airfare Index measures data across six fare categories including First Class, Business Class, Full Economy, Discount Economy, Lowest Peak-Season Excursion and Lowest Off-Season Excursion. The countries covered by the Index are Australia, Hong Kong SAR China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Class Definitions

First Class – The lowest, generally unrestricted first class fare valid for simple itineraries eg a city-pair return trip.

Business Class – The lowest, generally unrestricted intermediate-class fare valid for simple itineraries.

Full Economy – The lowest, generally unrestricted economy class fare valid for simple itineraries.

Discount Economy – The lowest economy fare available to the business traveller. Seats may be limited and an advance purchase of up to seven days may be required. No minimum stay requirement. A cancellation penalty may apply.

Lowest Peak-Season / Off-Season Excursion – The lowest most restrictive fare valid during peak or low season, respectively. Fares may require advance purchase, minimum stay, round trip purchase and may carry significant change / refund penalties. (Peak and low seasons vary between carriers and countries).

-------------

American Express Corporate Services, which includes the American Express Corporate Card, and Corporate Travel Services, assists companies in managing and controlling their business travel and entertainment expenses. It is a unit of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Express Company – a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travellers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Reynolds
Public & Corporate Affairs
American Express
025 2073303


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