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The state of Origin

MEDIA RELEASE

11 August 2006

The state of Origin

The provincial airline, Origin Pacific, has stopped its passenger services.

Consumers Institute's David Russell said this will leave a lot of people with travel plans up in the air.

"Origin is saying that Air NZ will provide seats for the stranded passengers. However, this is not a done deal. Origin had no arrangementn with Air New Zealand," said Russell.

The Institute is offering the following advice to Origin customers:

If you have booked a flight through a travel agent, contact the them and discuss rebooking on another airline in most cases this will be Air New Zealand. The agent should be holding what you paid for the Origin ticket and this will be transferred to the new ticket. If the new ticket costs more, then expect to pay the difference.

If you have paid by credit card, immediately ask your bank to reverse the charge and rebook on another airline.

If you have paid Origin by cash or cheque you may be in trouble. Under an
agreement made with creditors in 2004 when the company was first in financial trouble, all payments made by cash or cheque for future travel were supposed to held in a separate trust account. The status of this account is uncertain. Nevertheless, try contacting Origin to ask for a refund.

ENDS

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