Hong Kong Airlines is promising a fare shakeup on the popular route connecting the Chinese city to Auckland and slashed business class fares.
The airline will start daily services to Auckland on November 10 and while incumbent rival Cathay Pacific is offering cheaper economy fares around the time, Hong Kong Air is offering fares less than half that of rival airlines on the route.
While Cathay and Air New Zealand, which also flies daily on the route, charge around $5800 for return business class fares, Hong Kong Airline' business class fares start around $2204, a price Flight Centre says will be "incredibly attractive."
Air New Zealand's best economy fare leaving November 10 and returning a week later is $1342.
Flight Centre's general manager product Sean Berenson said fares on the route were likely to be dynamic with incumbents responding to make sure customers get some great deals.
"It's certainly been an interesting start - that business class would be incredibly attractive for customers."
Hong Kong Airlines assistant director commercial Michael Burke said the best way to establish itself in New Zealand was through attractive pricing.
"We've certainly been an interesting start - that business class would be incredibly
Most of its passengers would be mainland Chinese heading to New Zealand on holiday but Kiwis travelling northbound would be an important part of the mix.
"We very much intend to find our place in the market and that inevitably will be through quite keen pricing - we need people to try us."
The full-service airline daily services will use an Airbus A330 aircraft with 283 seats, including 24 lie-flat business class seats.
It had been considering the Auckland route for the past three years and it would be the decade-old airline's longest route.
New Zealand is on fire as a market and we wanted to join the party. It was an obvious one in that regard.
Hong Kong Airlines is the eighth new carrier to launch or announce services to New Zealand in the past year where there have been 19 new routes established. Airlines have benefited from relatively low fuel prices in the past 18 months, have replaced older less efficient planes with new aircraft and are targeting record numbers of tourists wanting to fly to New Zealand and Kiwis travelling overseas at unprecedented levels.
"New Zealand is on fire as a market and we wanted to join the party. It was an obvious one in that regard."
China is New Zealand's fastest growing inbound tourist market and the airline saw no let up in the growth of Chinese tourism to this country.
Burke said he had much respect for Air New Zealand and its Hong Kong-based rival Cathay Pacific which has has been flying to New Zealand from the city for 33 years
Cathay's country manager for New Zealand & Pacific Islands Mark Pirihi said during that time we have seen a number of airlines arrive in New Zealand which no longer fly here.
"As a premium airline Cathay Pacific faces growing competition. Competition is healthy in all industries and our focus as a premium airline is in keeping our product innovative and our service delivery."
Wednesday, 18 May 2016