Posted on: 02 September 2015 by Mark Howells
After announcing plans to create a regional network in June, Jetstar has revealed it will begin operating four routes to Auckland from Nelson, Napier, Plymouth and Palmerston North as well as a service between Nelson and Wellington.
The Nelson–Auckland and Napier–Auckland flights will launch at the beginning of December in time for the tourism season, whilst the New Plymouth–Auckland, Palmerston North–Auckland and Nelson–Wellington flights are scheduled to begin from 1 February, 2016.
The services will be marketed and managed by Jetstar, but operated by QantasLink. Under this arrangement, Qantas-owned Eastern Australia Airlines, which has operated Q300 aircraft in Australia for QantasLink for over 15 years, will manage the aircraft operations.
The first flights each day will take off from regional ports, with crew and aircraft positioned overnight in each of the new destinations. Recruiting has commenced for the 100 new jobs created by this regional expansion, with positions available for pilots, cabin crew, and ground crew.
“Today we’re delivering on our commitment to bring low fares and increased competition to communities around the country,” stated David Hall, CEO of Jetstar Australia and New Zealand. “In the past several weeks our New Zealand management team has travelled to eight regional centres and received a warm welcome and very positive support in every city we’ve visited. The feedback we’ve received from local councils, airports, economic agencies, businesses, and the tourism and travel trade has been invaluable in helping us to choose our first four destinations. We’ve also had fantastic support from potential customers who are keen to have a choice of airlines.
“We believe the routes we’ve announced today offer the strongest opportunities to grow the market and make a real difference to local economies and locals’ wallets, encouraging more travel and saving people money when they fly.
“We’ll keep talking with stakeholders in Hamilton, Rotorua, Invercargill and Tauranga because they’ve all expressed a desire for airline competition and they support Jetstar’s model of stimulating market growth through lower fares.”
Grant Kerr, head of Jetstar New Zealand, added, “On our visits throughout the country the message was loud and clear that regional Kiwis want Jetstar’s entry to their markets to be sustainable because they’ve seen other airlines come and go. So that’s what we’re doing; building a strong base with our initial destinations so we can look at other opportunities in the future.
“Jetstar has built a reputation for strong on-time performance and reliability on our domestic jet services in the past couple of years and we’ll be bringing that focus to our regional services as well.”
Jetstar’s regional network will add more than 670,000 new seats a year to the domestic market, a significant increase on the airline’s current domestic jet seat capacity of over 2.6 million seats annually.