International border reopening date is required to keep airfares low, says Flight Centre NZ boss David Coombes

As with all cheap airfares, those who act fastest get the best deals, and according to Flight Centre NZ's Managing Director David Coombes, the same can be said for Kiwis waiting for our international borders to open.

Speaking on The AM Show, Coombes said the longer it takes for the Government to give any certainty as to when international travel will return, the more likely it is New Zealanders will have to pay more to fly.

"If we are one of the last cabs off the rank in terms of opening our borders, airlines will already base their aircraft in the markets where they can generate revenue," Coombes said.

"Airlines had to contract during COVID and go into hibernation, and there are plenty of aircraft that won't come back into the ecosystem. It's hard to bring staff back and get pilots ready to fly again as well."

He said less capacity means higher prices, which is not good news for Kiwi families, or businesses who want to take Aotearoa to the world.

Coombes said New Zealand had over 20 international carriers servicing New Zealand until the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

"We all know it was the golden age of travel and I'm not forecasting if we can get this right and we get capacity in here. We don't think fares will blow right out, but there is a risk if we take too long that we won't have as many options as we did previously," he said.

However, Coombes said should domestic travel open up before Christmas for all Kiwis, he has no doubt there will be enough capacity to get us where we want to go around the country.

"I know certainly that Air New Zealand is geared up to put more services on and respond to customer demand so I don't see capacity being a problem," he said.