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House of Travel on proposed code share

13 April 2006

Statement from House of Travel's Retail Director Brent Thomas regarding the proposed Air New Zealand/Qantas code share arrangement:

"The Tasman is a hotly contested stretch of air with 11 airlines currently flying from New Zealand to Australia. There is no doubt that this competition has lead to cheaper airfares which our customers have benefited from.

With this increased competition has come surplus seats and it is common knowledge that outside of peak departure times, the flights simply aren't full across the Tasman. Over time this, combined with increasing fuel prices, has impacted on airlines profitability and it has been apparent that some sort of alliance would need to be sought in order to sustain two major airlines flying this route such as Air New Zealand and Qantas.

The reality is that with this scenario comes reduced capacity and it is the simple laws of economics that tell us at some point in the future, if this code share arrangement is signed off by the regulatory bodies, that airfares on the Tasman will rise.

While there are the "no frills" airlines such as Pacific Blue and lesser known airlines like LAN and Royal Brunei operating across the Tasman, unless the consumer uses a travel agent or a website which provides all the options, like houseoftravel.co.nz, which is independent from the airlines, they simply won't be aware of what is available and at what price."

ENDS

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