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Published on Thursday, June 11, 2009

Air NZ: We won't blink in fare war

AUCKLAND – As the trans-Tasman airfare warms up, Air New Zealand has vowed not to walk away from a scrap.

In September Christchurch-based Pacific Blue, a subsidiary of Virgin Blue, will be adding routes to Sydney from Queenstown and Wellington, and to Brisbane from Dunedin.

Last week it announced it would also be flying from Hamilton to Australia from September, with three flights a week to Sydney and three to Brisbane.

Jetstar this week launched domestic services in New Zealand, replacing its parent, Qantas.

Jetstar will serve four destinations and operate a five-route network of 84 weekly flights.

The services will link Auckland with Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown and Christchurch with Wellington (from June 24) and Queenstown.

Ed Sims, Air NZ group general manager, international airline, said the extra capacity on trans Tasman routes was a challenge for all the airlines.

“Who’s going to blink first?” Sims asked.

“I can tell you, it won’t be us.”

By Ian Jarrett

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