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Air New Zealand Announces New American Gateway and Special Inaugural Fares; Non-Stop Service From San Francisco to Auckland for $747.

Business Editors/Travel Writers

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 26, 2004

Visitors to New Zealand will have another option with Air New Zealand's announcement today that it will begin non-stop flights between San Francisco and Auckland on June 30, 2004. San Francisco International Airport will join Los Angeles International (LAX) and Honolulu airports as Air New Zealand's third American gateway city to New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has given his full support to the initiative.

"I am very pleased that Air New Zealand has chosen San Francisco as a point of destination and I look forward to the inaugural flight on June 30. Thank you Air New Zealand for choosing San Francisco. This is a beautiful city of extraordinary vibrancy and diversity. You won't be disappointed."

San Francisco Airport International Airport and the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau have been working with Air New Zealand for several years to get a direct service introduced to the city.

"This new non stop service is great news for San Francisco and long awaited on both sides of the Pacific," said San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President Tourism, Deborah Reinow.

San Francisco Airport Director John Martin has welcomed Air New Zealand's plans.

"Our airport is poised to make the travel experience for passengers a pleasant, memorable and hassle-free experience. Northern California's fascination for all things New Zealand will only be enhanced by this efficient new service."

Utilizing a 392-seat Boeing 747-400, Air New Zealand will initially operate three services per week, code-sharing with Star Alliance partners United Airlines and Air Canada, as well as offering connections to and from Europe with Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic. Departing on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, the service will operate as evening departures from San Francisco and Auckland, with the 12-hour flight arriving early morning into Auckland and midday from Auckland to San Francisco.

To launch the new service, Air New Zealand is offering a $747 Economy Class round trip fare on sale from January 26 - February 13, 2004, for travel between June 30 and November 27, 2004. Business Class fares are available for $2,800 round trip and First Class for $4,800. These inaugural fares represent savings of almost 60 % compared to the regular economy class San Francisco - Auckland fares.

"Several thousand seats are available at this special introductory level, and we encourage travelers to visit New Zealand during the off peak low season as it's the Southern Hemisphere's winter and spring," said Air New Zealand Vice President - Western Region, Gerard Gilmore. "The introduction of a second direct destination on the West Coast provides an important option for travelers from not only Northern California, but also from Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Canada, who may now travel via San Francisco, omitting the need to transit in Los Angeles or Honolulu.

"Air New Zealand has been flying to the United States since 1965 when we introduced a twice weekly DC8 service from Los Angeles to Auckland. Over the years our presence in the USA has grown substantially and we now employ 175 staff throughout North America," Gilmore said.

Air New Zealand's service out of San Francisco marks the first new international gateway for the airline since 1995 and becomes the 21st destination on the airline's international network.

Tourism New Zealand's North American Regional Manager Gregg Anderson also welcomed the announcement of Air New Zealand's new service from San Francisco.

"The North American market is very important to New Zealand and particularly visitors from California. The US is the third-largest tourism market and the second-largest foreign exchange earner for New Zealand.

"Air New Zealand's announcement is particularly timely given Tourism New Zealand's expanded marketing campaign in the US. San Franciscans will shortly see a series of 100% Pure New Zealand outdoor and television advertizing appearing during February."

Schedule:


Wednesday and Sunday

NZ7 San Francisco to Auckland Depart 9.45pm Arrive 5.30am two days
 later, due to crossing the international dateline en route.
 (Actual flight time is 12 hours.)


NZ8 Auckland to San Francisco Depart 6.50pm Arrive 11.50am same
 day.

Friday


NZ7 San Francisco to Auckland Depart 9.45pm Arrive 5.30am two days
 later, due to crossing the international dateline en route.
 (Actual flight time is 12 hours.)


NZ8 Auckland to San Francisco Depart 7.40pm Arrive 12.40pm the
 same day.



Inaugural fares quoted do not include taxes. Special restrictions, terms and conditions apply. Children's fares are available. Tickets may be booked through travel agents or directly with the airline by calling 1-800-369-6867 or by visiting www.airnewzealand.com/usa.

No one brings you closer to New Zealand. Air New Zealand offers more direct flights to the South Pacific than any other airline, including a total of 36 flights per week from Los Angeles and Honolulu to the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa. The readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines consistently rate Air New Zealand among the world's best international airlines. Visit Air New Zealand online at www.airnewzealand.com/usa for web specials or call 1-800-369-6867. Travel agents can visit www.airnztravelagent.com or call 1-800-262-2468.

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