The announcement is further good news for New Zealanders looking for convenient travel to the Pacific Islands, following on from the airline's decision last week to introduce a new service from Christchurch to Rarotonga in December.

The non-stop service to Nadi will fly weekly on a Saturday and be operated by a 146 seat A320 aircraft.

Convenient flight times will see the service leave Wellington at 4.40pm on Saturday, arriving into Nadi at 7.25pm. The return flight departs Nadi at 8.45am on Sunday and arrives into Wellington at 1.30pm.

Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales, Norm Thompson says the announcement is a result of close evaluation of potential new routes.

"Since the launch of Pacific Express earlier this year we have seen a 53% increase in passenger numbers from the lower North Island and upper South Island to Fiji.

"Our lower fares have dramatically increased demand, and with the introduction of our new A320 fleet we're very pleased to be able to fulfil that need by opening up new routes."

No other airline is operating a Wellington to Nadi service.

Standard Pacific Express Economy Class fares for the new service are on sale from Tuesday 24th August and will start at NZ$279 one-way (plus applicable levies and taxes), the same as existing fares currently available for Wellington passengers flying via Auckland. Business Class fares are from $639 one-way (plus applicable taxes and levies).

The Wellington to Nadi service provides good connections with domestic services and also with flights to and from Melbourne.

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.