Jetstar is coming to Nelson and its celebrating with $9 airfares.
Jetstar today unveiled its new regional network in New Zealand, launching low fares on five routes between Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Auckland and Wellington.
Nelson-Auckland and Napier-Auckland flights will take off from the beginning of December*, in time for the busy tourism season in both popular holiday destinations.
New Plymouth-Auckland, Palmerston North-Auckland and Nelson-Wellington flights will follow early next year, with services scheduled to begin from 1 February 2016.
David Hall, CEO Jetstar Australia and New Zealand, made the announcement this morning in Wellington, joined by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Transport Minister Simon Bridges.
“Today we’re delivering on our commitment to bring low fares and increased competition to communities around the country,” said Mr Hall
To celebrate the new routes Jetstar is offering special $9^ one-way regional launch fares from 9.30am-1.30pm today for travel 1-15 December 2015, 2 February-21 March 2016 and 4 May-29 Jun 2016.
Regular one-way lead-in fares on the new regional services are $45^ Nelson-Wellington and New Plymouth-Auckland and $49^ on the three other routes.
Jetstar first announced plans for a regional network in June this year and has been considering proposals from locations across the country for its initial expansion.
“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,” said Mr Hall.
“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.”
Mr Hall said the valuable relationships forged with all the regions would continue.
“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.”
Head of Jetstar New Zealand, Grant Kerr, said the initial five regional routes would build a strong base for considering more regional destinations.
“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,” said Mr Kerr. “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.”
Mr Kerr said the airline would be taking a phased approach to launching the new operations, starting the leisure routes of Nelson-Auckland and Napier-Auckland in December and other routes two months later.
“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.
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 the regional expansion will create, with positions available for pilots, cabin crew, and ground crew.
All Jetstar domestic fares in New Zealand, including the new regional services, offer the ability for Qantas Frequent Flyer members to earn Qantas Points**.
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.
Jetstar launched trans-Tasman flights in 2005 and established domestic operations in New Zealand in June 2009. The low cost carrier’s fleet of nine Airbus A320 aircraft operate up to up to 250 domestic and 100 international flights a week. Jetstar has over 400 team members in New Zealand.