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Freedom Air Shows Growth Amidst Tough Competition

Freedom Air Shows Growth Amidst Tough Competition

The number of people flying Freedom Air in the past 12 months has grown by 14%, with some destinations showing growth of more than four times that.

These results, from July 2003 to July 2004, come despite massively increased competition in the market, with the introduction of Pacific Blue and Emirates flights on many routes. Freedom Air's lower airfares in response to this new competition are proving successful.

More and more people are flying Freedom Air to Queensland than in the previous 12 months (up nearly 30%) reflecting the increasing appeal of the Gold Coast and Brisbane as holiday destinations.

Rachel Gardiner, Freedom Air's sales and marketing manager, says the airline's really, really small fares and direct to Gold Coast flights have seen a major rise in the number of people flying Freedom.

"We are seen largely as the leisure airline, which matches well with Queensland as one of Kiwis' favourite holiday destinations. As well, the high cost of airport and similar taxes in other destinations, probably influence travellers' choices."

Cantabrians have been quick to embrace the lower fares offered by Freedom Air, with the airline showing record growth of 70% on its Christchurch - Gold Coast service and 45% growth from Christchurch to Brisbane.

Brisbane is also a popular destination for Aucklanders and Wellingtonians while Dunedinites are increasingly visiting Coolangatta on the Gold Coast for their holidays.

Rachel Gardiner says: "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 Tasman routes from Christchurch has increased by up to 20% in the past year.

"It's gratifying to see that consumers are increasingly choosing Freedom Air, despite the increased competition. It shows they like what we have to offer. Lowering airfares has always been Freedom's philosophy."

The figures do not include Freedom Air's new Fiji service, which launched in Hamilton, Christchurch and Palmerston North in May, and which has been extremely well patronised since.

"Early indications are that Fiji is going to be another hugely successful destination for us. To date more than 14,000 passengers have booked to fly with us," Gardiner says.

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