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Air New Zealand slashes domestic fares to address softening market

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Air New Zealand on Tuesday said it would cut its lowest domestic fares by as much as 50 per cent as it shakes up its pricing structure in response to a softening travel market.

[BENGALURU] Air New Zealand on Tuesday said it would cut its lowest domestic fares by as much as 50 per cent as it shakes up its pricing structure in response to a softening travel market.

The move comes a month after the airline lowered its profit outlook by as much as 30 per cent on expectations that revenue growth would ease due to weaker tourism, raising broader concerns about slowing arrivals to New Zealand and Australia.

The flag carrier said it would be slashing its lowest fares on 41 domestic routes. New fares are available immediately for travel from March 25, it said in a statement on its website.

Chief executive officer Christopher Luxon said the move is "the biggest overhaul of the airline's domestic pricing structure in more than a decade", and would see over three quarters of a million seats a year priced under NZ$50 (S$46.40).

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The price of Air New Zealand shares fell as much as 1 per cent en route to a second consecutive session of loss.

Last month, Air New Zealand said a trend of "softening inbound tourism traffic" as well as weaker domestic leisure travel led it to downgrade its pretax profit forecast for the financial year ending June 30. 

REUTERS