Barrier Air has introduced a $228 return flight voucher between Auckland and Great Barrier Island, available until Sunday, February 18, and valid for 12 months from date of purchase.

$228 Return Flight Deal to Great Barrier Island Amid Rising Travel Costs

Barrier Air has introduced a $228 return flight voucher between Auckland and Great Barrier Island, available until Sunday, February 18, and valid for 12 months from date of purchase.

The offer stands out against the backdrop of surging travel expenses, with regular flight prices currently at $238 each way between Aotea and the Mainland. 

The deal could be seen as an attempt to boost travel to the island, especially after recent criticisms over the cost of the 25-minute flight across the Hauraki Gulf, now being more expensive than flying to Australia. 

Soaring Air travel prices have been mirrored by Sealink’s Car Ferry rates, which have hit $500 per vehicle one-way in some instances, a surge from the $300 charged just a few months ago.

The flight deal and the ferry rate increase come at a time when businesses, not just the tourism sector, have voiced concerns over declining visitor numbers. 

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The challenges are compounded by the aftermath of COVID-19 restrictions and the disastrous summer of 2022-2023. That period, marred by a long-term La Niña climate pattern, saw unrelenting downpours, and severe events such as Cyclone Gabrielle.

To take advantage of the offer, travelers need to visit the Barrier Air website, create a login if they haven’t already, and purchase the “Feb Special AA-GB” return voucher through the “buy vouchers” tab. Each voucher must be purchased separately.

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The route to Aotea is thought to be not overly profitable, highlighted by the collapse of Barrier Air’s competitor FlyMySky in July 2021, which resulted in the company owing creditors nearly $1,000,000. 

Unlike other offshore islands, such as those in the UK where transport is subsidized by governments to ensure sustainable operations, Aotea does not receive such support. Additionally, fuel prices have surged, partly due to the spike caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The previous Labour Government had introduced 25-cent p/litre reductions in fuel excise tax, but in 2023 deemed it “unsustainable” to continue the subsidies.

In a notable development, Barrier Air competitor Island Air, which acquired much of the FlyMySky Britten-Norman fleet, announced in September 2023 plans to convert its fleet to Hydrogen as early as 2026, in a partnership with the aircraft’s manufacturer.

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