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Christchurch Travel Market Warms To Fiji Service

MEDIA RELEASE
12 May 2004

Christchurch Travel Market Heats Up As Freedom Air
Fiji Service Takes Off

The latest salvo in the competition for Canterbury travellers will be fired tomorrow (13 May) when Freedom Air’s new low priced service to Fiji takes off from Christchurch Airport.

Michael Young, Freedom Air’s acting general manager, says the new service is offering South Islanders even greater travel choices and believes that Christchurch is set to become an aviation battleground for the consumer dollar.

“Christchurch will become the most competitive market in New Zealand, if not the world,” Young says. “The people of Christchurch and those in surrounding areas will see airfares at never seen before prices. They’re definitely in for some great deals.”

Freedom Air’s fares to Fiji are a case in point. Providing the only direct service to Fiji from the South Island, the new Fiji service launched with a fare of $219* one-way (excluding all taxes and levies*), one of the smallest airfares to Fiji ever seen in the market.

“These fares make travel to Fiji more convenient and more affordable for South Islanders. Our direct flights to Nadi and really, really small fares give travellers more time and money to spend soaking up the sun in Fiji,” Young says. “We are committed to providing New Zealanders with low cost airfares to more exciting destinations and we will take any competitors on head to head.”
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Young believes that as an airline, Freedom Air is best placed to sustain these low fares over time due to its simple low cost business model. “Our model involves point to point flying, no travel agency commissions, clear market proposition and overall lower cost base, which gives us a strong competitive advantage when competing for our share of the leisure market.”

Freedom Air’s Fiji services are part of its new strategic direction, which will see the airline investigate new holiday destinations within a five-hour flying time of New Zealand. Freedom Air launched Fiji services from Hamilton on the 29 April and will launch its Palmerston North to Nadi services on 15 May 2004.

Competition for the consumer travel dollar has heated up in the last year with the introduction of new airlines and lower fares. Many of the additional flights have been to Australia and capacity on Christchurch - Tasman routes has increased by up to 20% in the past year.

ENDS

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