Air New Zealand hikes ticket prices: fuel costs to blame

By John Walton, March 10 2011
Air New Zealand hikes ticket prices: fuel costs to blame

Air New Zealand will raise all its fares by between 7 and 8 percent in response to the sharply increasing price of jet fuel.

The airline's higher fares will take effect next Friday, 18 March. 

The increases will apply directly to fares instead of applying a fuel surcharge, as Qantas did earlier this week.

That means that Air New Zealand's frequent flyers can use Airpoints dollars to pay for the increases, whereas members of Qantas' Frequent Flyer programme have to pay out cash for the fuel surcharge. 

Overall, fares to Australia and the Pacific Islands will rise by an average of 8 percent, while domestic NZ and long-haul international flights will jump slightly less: an average of 7 percent.

IATA (the International Air Transport Association) and energy benchmarker Platts are quoting a global jet fuel price rise of a whopping 53 percent compared with this time last year, and a 13.7 percent rise since last month.

The reasons behind the increase in the global price of fuel are complex, but a significant factor is the continuing political unrest in the Middle East, with key oil exporter Libya being particularly unstable. 

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


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