Qantas & Virgin Trans-Tasman Fares at Record Lows

Qantas & Virgin Trans-Tasman Fares at Record Lows

Looking for cheap flights to New Zealand? Qantas and Virgin Australia are currently offering some of the lowest Economy class fares we’ve seen to New Zealand on full-service airlines for a while!

For example, both Qantas and Virgin Australia have flights from Melbourne to Christchurch available for under $272 return:

Virgin Australia sale fare from Melbourne to Christchurch
Flights from Melbourne to Christchurch are available for $270.50 return on the Virgin Australia website

Right now, you can also book return flights on many other trans-Tasman routes, including Sydney-Auckland, Sydney-Wellington, Brisbane-Auckland, Brisbane-Christchurch and Melbourne-Christchurch for under $300 return. Even Virgin’s unique Brisbane-Dunedin route is on sale too, with flights from $357.62 return. All of these cheap flights to New Zealand include checked baggage, in-flight entertainment and meals on board. Of course, you can also earn frequent flyer points and status credits.

Air New Zealand has also matched the cheap flights. You can currently book a return trip to New Zealand with Air New Zealand for under $200 on some routes! However, this price doesn’t include bags or meals.

Virgin Australia’s extraordinary New Zealand sale

Virgin is currently running a sale on flights to New Zealand, but the advertised fares are actually more than $100 higher on some routes than the prices that are actually available. Curiously, neither Qantas nor Virgin Australia are advertising these very cheap flights to New Zealand on their websites.

The cheap Virgin Australia trans-Tasman flights are available for bookings made until 2 March 2020. According to the fare rules, the following travel dates are included:

  • 10-24 March 2020
  • 27 April-23 June 2020
  • 23 July-16 September 2020

With this sale, the base fare on each trans-Tasman flight is only $50. The remaining amount is comprised of taxes such as the Australian government’s departure tax.

Cheap Qantas flights to New Zealand

It seems Qantas has decided to match Virgin’s cheap flights to New Zealand. In general, where Qantas is competing with Virgin Australia on the same trans-Tasman route, its flights are available during the current sale for around $1 more. The sale fares are only available on direct flights.

Here are some examples of cheap Qantas Economy class flights from Australia to New Zealand that are currently available on the Qantas website…

Melbourne to Auckland for $276 return:

Cheap flights from Melbourne to Auckland on the Qantas website

Brisbane to Christchurch for $286 return:

Cheap flights from Brisbane to Christchurch on the Qantas website

Or Sydney to Wellington for $291 return:

Cheap flights from Sydney to Wellington on the Qantas website

Both Qantas and Virgin Australia have been struggling lately with weak demand due to the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, both airlines (as well as Jetstar) have already cancelled some trans-Tasman flights between now and June.

Air New Zealand has also matched the cheap airfares

This morning, Air New Zealand joined the action too! It has matched the Virgin Australia deals as well, with flights available at dirt cheap prices until 2 March. With Air New Zealand, for example, you can now fly from Melbourne to Auckland from just $196 return.

Cheap flights from Melbourne to Auckland on the Air New Zealand website
Cheap flights from Melbourne to Auckland on the Air New Zealand website

Similar prices are available on other trans-Tasman routes in Air New Zealand Economy class. However, this price is only for a “Seat” fare. Tickets that include a checked bag, movies and a meal cost an extra $40 each way, brining the total price to $276 return. That’s the same price as Qantas and Virgin Australia.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]
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Calling Virgin a ‘full service’ airline on their flight to NZ is very generous IMHO. I am a plat member and had fully flex ticket and flew Melb – AKL this week. A VERY ordinary boxed meal, (no salad, no bread, no desert) and a single drink for a 4+ hour flight to me is not good enough….compare this with what was in place with AIR NZ…incomparable!