Nearly 50,000 people have flown out of Christchurch since last week’s earthquake with the exodus expected to soar as cheap fares are snapped up.
Many of those leaving were visitors but Air New Zealand said many were residents looking for time out of the damaged city.
the national carrier has flown an average of 8000 people out of Christchurch International Airport daily with more than 45,000 having left as of Monday.
that figure was expected to have passed 50,000 by yesterday and reach as high as 70,000 by week’s end, Air New Zealand spokesman Mark Street said.
the extra seats equated to around 20 additional Boeing 737 services per day on top of existing services.
”We have used every jet aircraft type in our fleet to find the additional capacity,” he said.
Air New Zealand began offering $50 domestic standby fares, $50 one-way tickets to Australia and the Pacific and $400 one-way prices for all long-haul flights.
the offer is strictly for Christchurch residents or their families.
meanwhile, cheaper fares would be available until Sunday.
All fares between Christchurch and Auckland would be adjusted to Smart Saver levels, meaning a one-way flight between the two cities would cost between $69 and $149 and flying one-way to Wellington would cost between $59 and $129.
Street said the airline strongly encouraged customers with bookings to and from Christchurch that no longer needed them to cancel their tickets so other customers could make use of their seats.
– the Press
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