Air New Zealand yesterday became the first airline to introduce everyday, low-cost travel across the Tasman - cutting its lead-in Auckland-Sydney fare by 45% with an average reduction of 20% across the full range of lead-in fares, including Business Class.

Tasman Express is the latest move in the airline's development focused on delivering simple, everyday low price fares to encourage more people to travel more often.

Chief Executive Ralph Norris says thousands of travellers on both sides of the Tasman have been quick to snap up the everyday low price fares.

"Our reservations staff have been inundated with calls from travellers wanting to take advantage of the new low everyday fares and our on-line booking site (www.airnewzealand.co.nz) experienced its busiest day ever yesterday, breaking previous single day Trans-Tasman booking records.

"We had a phenomenal 12-fold increase in Trans-Tasman on-line bookings for the day up to 11pm (NZ time). But the record breaking didn't end there. We also exceeded our highest ever daily web sales figure for New Zealand point of sale (domestic plus Tasman) by more than 30% and expect to have broken our total web sales record (domestic and all international) by at least 35% when the final figures are collated," Mr Norris says.

"The phones and on-line bookings are still running hot this morning and I'm receiving a lot of feedback from travellers who are really appreciative of the opportunity to be able to fly across the Tasman cheaper and at times that suit them.

"For example, one of our reservations staff yesterday booked three adults on a trip to Sydney at Christmas, which is a peak travel time. Tasman Express has just saved them $200 each and the passenger booking the fares was, in her words, 'rapt'.

"Another passenger just kept saying 'I can't believe it' after she booked a return Nelson-Melbourne trip for two and saved a total of $367 per person. She is now thinking about doing two more trips to Australia because the fares are so cheap."

Mr Norris said the way in which Tasman Express had been received by travellers is also having a positive impact on staff.

"It certainly makes their day much more enjoyable when they are dealing with customers who can't get over how much cheaper it has become everyday to travel between Australia and New Zealand on Tasman Express."

Air New Zealand carries a significant number of New Zealanders and Australians across the Tasman every year - some 32% of total visitors the airline brings to New Zealand are Australians and 44% of outbound Kiwis fly to Australia annually with
Air New Zealand.

Tickets went on sale yesterday for travel commencing October 29th.

For further information please contact:
Public Affairs on 09-336 2761

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.