Think flying a low cost carrier is the cheapest way to get to somewhere? Then maybe it is time to re-think again. With several smaller airlines like Xiamen Airlines buying new planes, there are definitely cheaper ways to travel with free baggage and inflight food and services. Fiji Airways based out of Nadi Airport in the South Pacific island nation of Fiji is offering some cheap fares out of Singapore and Hong Kong for travel to New Zealand.
Flights onboard Economy Class starts from S$647 though it is still easy to get round trip tickets for S$870 on most days of travel. At those prices, the flights might just be worth it even on Economy Class. For those seeking more space and premium amenities, Business Class fares starts from around S$2799, though Fiji Airways has angled lie-flat seats and I believe there might be better deals through other Asian-based carriers for Business class travel to New Zealand.
Fiji Airways also flies out of Hong Kong to Nadi, thus fares to New Zealand are also available at around HK$4,812 (~$617), though Fiji does advertise fares starting from around HK$3,950 (~$507). At those prices, it is a cheap way for travellers in North Asia to get to New Zealand.
The only drawback is that flights operated by Fiji Airways are not available daily and connection times in Nadi can be quite long at around 2 hours to 6 hours, though certain flights requires overnight layovers at 11 to 16 hours. The good part is that Fiji is an island paradise in its own right and there are several beach resorts near the airport operated by Sheraton and Westin, both of which are members of SPG.
Flights between Singapore (SIN) and Nadi (NAN) are operated by the Airbus A330-200 which have 2-4-2 abreast seating, with seats similar to those found onboard Singapore Airlines. Business class seats are angled lie-flats in 2-2-2 abreast configuration, and seats are also in a similar design onboard Singapore Airlines. Out of Singapore, Fiji Airways flies only on Wednesday and Saturday as FJ360 scheduled at 14:00 (2:00pm) and reaching Nadi at 04:05 (4:05am) the day after.
The return flight from Nadi to Singapore is operated on Tuesday and Friday as FJ361, departing out of Nadi at 22:35 (10:35pm), arriving in Singapore at 04:55 (4:55am) on Wednesday and Saturday.
Connecting flights to New Zealand are operated daily as FJ411, which means travellers can take advantage of this fare to plan a stopover in Fiji. The flight out of Nadi departs at 08:45am and reaching Auckland at 11:45am.
From Auckland, FJ410 departs at 13:00 (1:00pm) and arrives into Nadi at 16:55 (4:55pm). This usually means an long or overnight layover as the flight to Singapore departs at night while the flight to Hong Kong departs in the morning. Flights from Nadi to Auckland are operated either by a Boeing 737 or the Airbus A330.
Whatever the case, I think this is a great airfare to visit New Zealand from South-east Asia and while Fiji Airways is not part of any major airline alliance, travellers can credit miles towards Qantas Frequent Flyer where you can earn both status points and credits and to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan which also credits towards elite status.