Jetstar plans to start flying to regional destinations in New Zealand from later this year, bringing much-needed competition and more affordable fares to travelers outside the country’s main centers. The new services will be operated by a fleet of five 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turbo-prop aircraft and are expected to create at least 100 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and ground crew.
The services are expected to operate to at least four regional destinations initially, with some of those under consideration being Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier and Palmerston North in the North Island and Nelson and Invercargill in the South Island. These will connect with one or more of Jetstar’s current domestic destinations.
Regional fares will go on sale in September with first flights taking off in early December, in time for the busy summer and holiday season.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the time was right to bring Jetstar’s low fares to the regions.
“When Jetstar brought low fares to New Zealand’s key routes six years ago it completely transformed the market in terms of value and now we’ll do the same for regional New Zealand.
“The community has been calling out for more choice and lower fares on regional routes in New Zealand because there’s a lack of competition.
“We’re answering that call by launching Jetstar flights to regional New Zealand, making air travel more affordable for people who live outside the main centers and boosting tourism and the economies of these areas.
“These new regional destinations will connect with the broader Qantas Group network, including both Qantas and Jetstar flying across the Tasman, to make these parts of New Zealand more accessible to international travellers,” added Mr Joyce.
The Jetstar-branded regional services, which will be marketed and managed by Jetstar, will be 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.
* Services are subject to regulatory approval.