From 2 July 2004, the airline will increase its total number of flights to Australia to 125 per week, making an additional 100,000 seats per year available and delivering the most comprehensive trans-Tasman schedule in the market.

"Since launching our Tasman Express every day lower fares in October last year, we've stimulated passenger growth by 15% across the Tasman and we're intent on sustaining this growth," said Air New Zealand's Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales, Norm Thompson.

The new flights, an additional nine per week in total, will be shared between Christchurch and Melbourne, Christchurch and Brisbane and Auckland and Brisbane.

Auckland to Brisbane daily services will increase from nine to 12 services per week, utilising a Boeing 747-400 aircraft for double daily services on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and double daily Saturday and Sunday with Boeing 747 and Airbus A320 aircraft. The new flights will add 1,176 seats to the sector per week.

Christchurch to Melbourne daily services will increase from seven to 12 Airbus A320 operated flights a week, resulting in double daily services on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

The increase means an additional 730 seats per week on the route and makes
Air New Zealand the only carrier to offer double daily services. The new schedule will offer a morning departure from Christchurch at 6.10am as well as an afternoon flight at 3.35pm. A 6.25pm departure from Melbourne will suit day trips for business travellers well.

Christchurch to Brisbane services will increase from four to five services per week, with improved scheduling resulting in two afternoon and three evening services.

The increase means that Air New Zealand now offers more flights and more flexibility than any other airline across the Tasman.

"It gives customers greater access to even more seats between New Zealand and Australia at every day low prices," said Mr Thompson.

"Our enhanced schedule will not only provide customers with unmatched choice in terms of when they fly and how often but also deliver competitive fares and full in-flight service."

Latest tourism figures reflect the success of Tasman Express. Tourism New Zealand figures have shown consecutive growth in visitor numbers from Australia with a record 67,400 travellers coming to New Zealand in January of this year, an increase of 26.8 per cent on the same period of the previous year.

Conversely the Australian Tourist Commission shows New Zealanders visiting Australia have also been on the rise, up 14 per cent in January 2004 to 53,600.

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.