Air New Zealand is going to expand its hugely successful everyday low Express fares to travel between New Zealand and Pacific Island destinations.

The everyday low fares will be launched in March for travel commencing mid year.

Air New Zealand chief executive Ralph Norris says the airline is committed to ensuring visitors to the Pacific Islands and residents of the idyllic nations have the opportunity to travel cheaper than ever before.

"Our combination of everyday low fares and great in-flight service is going to give more people the opportunity to take holidays, conduct business or visit family and friends in the Islands."

Mr Norris says the launch of the everyday low Pacific fares is a logical next step from the huge success of the domestic Express Class and Tasman Express services.

"More customers than ever before are flying domestically and across the Tasman. We currently fly more than 100,000 customers between New Zealand and Pacific Island destinations annually and I'm confident that thousands more will want to seize the opportunity to experience the unique cultures and beauty of the Pacific," he says.

Meantime, Air New Zealand has further demonstrated its commitment to the Pacific Islands by becoming a key sponsor of the annual Pasifika event, which takes place at Western Springs in Auckland from March 12-14, 2004.

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.