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Demand Soars For Freedom Air’s Domestic Service

Media release

21 May 2001

Demand Soars For Freedom Air’s Domestic Service

Three weeks since the launch of its domestic service, Freedom Air says it has been inundated with bookings.

As of midday today, 28, 474 people had booked domestic flights on the airline since its launch on May 1, 2001. The number of passengers who will have been carried by close of play today totals 10,255. Earliest bookings have been taken for the Auckland - Christchurch route.

The company’s call centre has increased staff to handle the number of calls although an increasing number of travellers are booking via the internet.

Wayne Dodge, Freedom Air’s vice president and general manager, says the response from New Zealanders has been fantastic. “The level of interest in flying on Freedom Air has demonstrated that Kiwis were crying out for a value-based domestic service.”

In addition, Freedom Air is recruiting and training 23 Qantas New Zealand cabin crew for its domestic and international operations. A second aircraft is expected to be operational towards the end of May.

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Freedom Air International has been operating its transtasman service for more than five years and has built an enviable record for safe, reliable, efficient, friendly service.

ends

For further information, please contact:

Wayne Dodge

Vice President/General Manager

Freedom Air

Tel: + 64 9 912 6980 Claudia Macdonald/Kareen Floyd

WRC

Tel: + 64 9 306 1804

Mob: 025 932 418/025 831 466

FREEDOM AIR INFORMATION

- Freedom Air International launches November 8, 1995 as a value-based airline operating between New Zealand and Australia. The name Freedom is chosen to reflect the aim of the airline - freeing people from the daily grind and giving them the opportunity to fly cheaply. The sun logo is chosen to reflect the sun, sea and relaxed atmosphere of holidays.

- The first Freedom Air flight takes off December 8, carrying 56 people between Auckland and Sydney. Flights available from Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Aircraft and pilots, cabin crew and engineers wet leased from UK-based Britannia Airways.

- Freedom Air’s Open Skies reservations system goes live April 18,1996. Freedom Air now the first totally ticketless airline in the Pacific.

- Flights from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch cease on April 27, 1996 in favour of greater focus on flights from Hamilton and Dunedin and a new provincial gateway in Palmerston North.

- On March 31, 1997, Freedom Air gets its own Air Services Certificate and is now able to operate in its own right. It begins operations April 5 with its own 737-300, the first New Zealand registered aircraft of that type.

- Freedom celebrates carriage of 200,000th passenger, August 20 1997.

- April 15, 1998, Freedom launches its website, www.freedomair.com

- March 29, 1999, Freedom stops paying travel agents commission on bookings, passing on savings to passengers. Return airfares between Hamilton/Palmerston North and Sydney drop $50 to $399.

- Freedom offers extra savings for passengers who book through the airline’s internet site.

- First Freedom Melbourne flight launched ex Palmerston North, December 19 1999.

- Freedom launches inaugural flight to Fiji on March 29 2000, and first Dunedin-Melbourne flight on November 1, 2000.

- May 1, 2001. Freedom launches domestic air service with value flights between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


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