NEW Zealanders wanting to escape the Rugby World Cup fever are taking advantage of heavily discounted overseas travel as airlines seek to fill their seats.
The tournament is expected to keep most Kiwis glued to the rugby action at home, while tourists are expected to arrive en masse for the cup and to stay on. Airlines have responded by offering rarely seen deals to keep people flying abroad in September and October.
One-way fares to London from just $690 and a return trip from $1491, advertised by Flight Centre in the Herald yesterday, were quickly snapped up.
Flight Centre product general manager Dave Coombes said once flights were scheduled to go, airlines needed their revenue - and that was good news for people wanting to travel.
The strong Kiwi dollar was another incentive, Mr Coombes said.
People were starting to take notice of what was on offer, but more deals would be springing up during the RWC. Travel Agents' Association chief executive Andrew Olsen said airlines were seeing opportunities to offer heavily discounted deals while filling their planes during the RWC.
Air New Zealand will have an extra weekly service between London, Hong Kong and Auckland while the tournament is on, and domestic and transtasman capacity will be up around 10 per cent."We would see this as an opportunity for Kiwis who don't want to be in an overcrowded city to bail, and that's good for the airlines as well."
"As always, we have a number of retail campaigns in the market currently which include travel for the September/October period and beyond. Most travellers know that unsold seats can often be picked up for a song ... and the RWC period will be no different."
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