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First Year Of Air New Zealand Express Class

Huge Success For First Year Of Air New Zealand Express Class

Air New Zealand's domestic Express Class celebrates its first birthday tomorrow with more than

1.1 million additional passengers flown in a year that has fundamentally changed the way

New Zealanders approach domestic air travel.

In its first 12 months of operation, a total of more than six million passengers took to the skies on

Express Class - 22 percent more than the previous year - and, significantly, Air New Zealand

believes many of these additional journeys around New Zealand were made by first-time fliers

attracted by the lower fares.

Marking the anniversary, Air New Zealand Chief Executive and Managing Director Ralph Norris

said Kiwis have responded strongly to domestic fare savings of up to 50 percent and an average

of 20 percent.

"Express Class has delivered on its pledge to fly more New Zealanders more often. It has been an outstanding success story in a remarkably short space of time."

Proving their reputation as early adopters of new technology and business methods,

New Zealanders have enjoyed the opportunity to save money by booking online. >From only

four percent of domestic online sales before Express Class, an average of 35 percent of customers

now choose to book their travel via the internet.

Seizing upon the timesaving self-service ExpressCheck kiosks at key airports, a first for New Zealand, an average 40 percent of Express Class customers in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch now

use this technology to speed their way through the check-in process.

As well as boosting the domestic tourism industry by making it more affordable for leisure

travellers to fly around the country, Express Class has also delivered significant economic

benefits to the broader New Zealand business community.

Initial estimates by the airline that New Zealand's 500 largest corporate companies would

save significant amounts on their annual flight costs have been exceeded. As Express Class

marks its first anniversary, New Zealand's largest companies have actually saved $53.3 million

- almost 20 percent - on their annual domestic flight bills.

This compares with an Air New Zealand study of those same customers conducted at the time of

launching Express Class which predicted they would save 18 percent per year, or $40 million,

on domestic travel.

On average, it is costing these corporate travellers $148 per one way Express Class flight

compared to $202 under pre-Express airfares.

Other key Express Class milestones in Year One include

* 2003 New Zealand Tourism Awards - Innovation in Leadership and Strategic Planning

* 2003 NBR Advertising campaign of the Year

* 2003 EFFIE Awards for marketing effectiveness, awarded by the Communication Agencies Association of New Zealand - Gold awards for Consumer Services; Corporate Image; Corporate Reputation & silver award for New Product category.

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