Air New Zealand vs Jetstar: Who has the cheapest school holiday airfares?

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, Kiwis are keen to fly around their country.
With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, Kiwis are keen to fly around their country. Photo credit: Getty/Newshub

Despite much fanfare around the need for Kiwis to travel and introductory cheap airfares from Qantas-owned Jetstar as it returns to the New Zealand market, the cost of flying domestically during the upcoming school holidays is generally a long way from the $49 seats being promoted.

It might actually cost closer to $700 to fly a return route like Auckland-Queenstown.

Newshub Travel carried out a spot check on airfares being sold online by both Air New Zealand and Jetstar over multiple periods of the school holidays along with a weekend during the next school term.

The prices in the comparison below were all recorded on June 22, 2020. The Jetstar airfares have each had the additional $5 per person per airfare booking fee added, and all prices are based on the cheapest available fare on the particular days of travel regardless of time of departure or baggage allowance.

Air New Zealand vs Jetstar total airfare cost comparison for four passengers:

Auckland - Wellington

July 4 - July 9:

  • Air New Zealand: $1632
  • Jetstar: $640

Difference: Jetstar $992 cheaper

July 10 - July 12:

  • Air New Zealand: $1032
  • Jetstar: $760

Difference: Jetstar $272 cheaper

July 13 - July 17:

  • Air New Zealand: $872
  • Jetstar: $600

Difference: Jetstar $272 cheaper

 

Auckland - Christchurch

July 4 - July 9:

  • Air New Zealand: $1352
  • Jetstar: $1048

Difference: Jetstar $304 cheaper

July 10 - July 12:

  • Air New Zealand: $1112
  • Jetstar: $1256

Difference: Air NZ $144 cheaper

July 13 - July 17:

  • Air New Zealand: $1232
  • Jetstar: $1128

Difference: Jetstar $104 cheaper

 

Auckland - Dunedin

July 4 - July 9:

(Jetstar's dates were changed to July 3 - July 8 due to not having flights on the chosen days)

  • Air New Zealand: $1552
  • Jetstar: $1884

Difference: Air New Zealand $332 cheaper

July 10 - July 12:

(Jetstar's dates were changed to July 11 - July 13 due to not having flights on the chosen days)

  • Air New Zealand: $1792
  • Jetstar: $1592

Difference: Jetstar $200 cheaper

July 13 - July 17:

(Jetstar's dates were changed to July 13 - July 18 due to not having flights on the chosen days.)

  • Air New Zealand: $1552
  • Jetstar: $1508

Difference: Jetstar $44 cheaper

 

Christchurch - Wellington

July 4 - July 9:

  • Air New Zealand: $1032
  • Jetstar: $1032

Difference: None

July 10 - July 12:

  • Air New Zealand: $1192
  • Jetstar: $1528

Difference: Air New Zealand $336 cheaper

July 13 - July 17:

  • Air New Zealand: $1032
  • Jetstar: $1032

Difference: None

During school term:

(Friday 31 July - Mon 3 August)

Auckland - Christchurch

  • Air New Zealand: $872
  • Jetstar: $772

Difference: Jetstar $100 cheaper

Auckland - Dunedin

  • Air New Zealand: $1032
  • Jetstar: $772

Difference: Jetstar $260

Auckland -  Queenstown

  • Air New Zealand: $2936
  • Jetstar: $1972

Difference: Jetstar $964 cheaper

Christchurch - Wellington

  • Air New Zealand: $1112
  • Jetstar: $644

Difference: Jetstar $476 cheaper

New Zealand skies are looking much busier than just a few weeks ago.
New Zealand skies are looking much busier than just a few weeks ago. Photo credit: FlightRadar24.com/Newshub.

For those travelling alone the total cost is obviously cheaper, but is it low enough to get people back into travelling domestically?

The average price for a solo adult flying on the same routes were both varied and expensive. The highest airfare was $676 return on the Auckland-Queenstown route during the school holidays, however Queenstown is always an expensive destination regardless of the time of year, with flights during the school term costing as much as $734 return on the same route.

Air NZ's schedule is currently around 70 percent of where it was pre-COVID-19, however, due to demand, the airline is actually flying more people into Queenstown than this time last year.

"To date, more than 15,000 customers have already booked in to or out of Queenstown securing flights for under $100 each way over these upcoming July school holidays," an Air NZ spokesperson said.

The Auckland-Gisborne route at the start of the school holidays has seats available for under $100 one way and Auckland-Rotorua and Auckland-New Plymouth also have fares available for under $100 next week.  

Jetstar has been contacted for comment.

Next week, Newshub Travel will look at ways you can score cheap deals during school holidays.

Are you going away for the school holidays? Tell us about it in our Newshub Travel Facebook group.

 

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