“A five percent increase in domestic airfares shows a continuing trend which will fail businesses and communities in the regions," says RWNZ Finance Chair, Rachael Dean.
“Less than two months after Air New Zealand increased its charges on optional extras on domestic flights, they announce another increase.
“When Air New Zealand announced the increase in charges in February, they had only announced a week earlier that passenger revenue had reached an all-time record for an interim result, at $2.3 billion.
“In January 2016, Air New Zealand Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon announced that international and domestic flights were going to become substantially cheaper.
“RWNZ is curious to know when these substantially cheaper airfares will be implemented in the regions – what we are seeing is a trend to the contrary."
“Price increases do more than limit accessibility to travel for our smaller communities, they increase costs for local and regional councils, and impact the competitiveness and sustainability of regional businesses.
“When the prices of goods and services produced in the regions increase to compensate travel associated costs, the weight will ultimately be felt by consumers.
“Decisions such as this continue to short change the Government’s focus on regional economic development, and we look forward to seeing evidence from Air New Zealand that they do not see the regions as a cash cow”, says Ms Dean.