How Air New Zealand is taking on the Low Cost Carrier by … becoming one?


Air New Zealand is taking Low Cost Carriers like Jetstar and Pacific Blue head on by … emulating them. They’re now offering a full range of service from:

  • Seat
  • Seat + Bag
  • The Works
  • Works Deluxe

Let’s explore these options in more detail.

Seat and Seat + Bag compete head on with Low Cost Carriers. We’ve all seen seat only deals on Jetstar. Well, this is the same thing. Great for people who don’t have checked in luggage and who don’t mind purchasing food on the plane. Same with Seat + Bag. These services provide a subsection of entertainment (not movies though), and Tea, Coffee, and Water for free. You don’t get to choose your seat either.

A Seat only fare between Christchurch New Zealand and Sydney Australia is only … $34 NZD. That’s fantastic. There are airport charges and taxes (equal to $55 NZD) on top of that, but still, $34 NZD to the airline for the flight, amazing.

The Works provides Movies, Meals, and a Seat Request. This is for $30 NZD more than the Seat + Bag option. Since these are for short haul flights only, spending $30 for a meal and a movie doesn’t seem like amazing value for money, if you can hold on for three hours to Sydney.

Finally, Works Deluxe adds another 23KG checked bag, Premium check-in, and lounge access where available for another $100 NZD on top of The Works. With the extra bag costing $20, really you’re getting premium check-in and lounge access for $80. Do note that some airports such as Wellington International Airport offer lounge access for $30NZD, so you’d have to ask yourself is premium check-in worth the extra $50?

However, for some people it will be, as will picking a movie and their seat. And to differentiate their product in such a clear easy manner is great innovation from Air New Zealand, well done! And especially for people who may say, sure, I’ll head over on a Seat only deal, but once I’ve got the souvenirs I’ll come back on a Seat + Bag deal, I think that’s wonderful flexibility.

Ultimately travellers are becoming more knowledgeable and understanding of what they want from an airline, and considering the fundamental similarity of the product between carriers, this type of differentiation is the best method for Air New Zealand to stand out from the pack.