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$45 to Nelson: Jetstar promises low fares, more competition on five new routes

jetstar at wgtn airport
Photo from Wellington Airport

News from Jetstar
Jetstar today unveiled its new regional network, launching low fares on five routes between Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Auckland and Wellington.

Nelson-Wellington, Palmerston North-Auckland and New Plymouth-Auckland flights will begin early next year, with services scheduled to begin from 1 February 2016*.

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.

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.

Direct services:
Start date Schedule Launch sale^ Regular lead-in fare^

Nelson-Auckland 1 Dec 2015* 27 flights per week $9 $49
Napier-Auckland 1 Dec 2015* 27 flights per week $9 $49
New Plymouth-Auckland 1 Feb 2016* 27 flights per week $9 $45
Palmerston North-Auckland 1 Feb 2016* 27 flights per week $9 $49
Nelson-Wellington 1 Feb 2016* 21 flights per week $9 $45

BusinessDesk report by Fiona Rotherham
Jetstar, the Qantas Airways budget offshoot, launched its new regional network in New Zealand with special $9 one-way fares and has narrowed down its choices to five routes and four destinations – Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, and Palmerston North.

The move ends Air New Zealand’s stranglehold on regional routes with the national airline pre-empting today’s announcement by already having discounted fares on a number of routes in the past month by between 11 percent and 40 percent and promised two million fares under $100 in the next financial year.

David Hall, Jetstar chief executive Australia and New Zealand, said Jetstar will offer $9 one-way regional fares between 9.30am and 1.30pm today for travel at certain times from December through to June. Regular one-way lead-in fares on the new regional routes will be $45 Nelson-to-Wellington and New Plymouth-to-Auckland and $49 on the other three routes.

In June, Jetstar signalled plans to expand into the regions in New Zealand from its current main trunk routes and has been considering proposals from eight regional centres.

“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,” Hall said.

He said while only four destinations have been chosen, the airline will continue talking with stakeholders in Hamilton, Rotorua, Invercargill and Tauranga because they’ve all expressed a desire for airline competition and support Jetstar’s low-fare model.

Jetstar New Zealand head Grant Kerr said the initial five regional routes would build a strong base for considering more regional destinations, and the feedback from regional leaders has been that they want Jetstar’s entry to their markets to be sustainable because they’ve seen other airlines come and go.

“That’s what we’re doing; building a strong base with our initial destinations so we can look at other opportunities in the future,” Kerr said.

Jetstar’s regional network will add more than 670,000 seats a year to the domestic market, on top of its existing 2.6 million seats a year. That’s an estimated 12 percent extra capacity to the domestic market while Air New Zealand said last week it would add an extra 8 percent capacity to its domestic routes this financial year.

All Jetsar domestic fares in New Zealand, including the new regional services, will allow Qantas Frequent Flyer members to earn points which hasn’t been the case in New Zealand previously.

Recruiting has begun for the 100 new jobs Jetstar’s regional expansion will create, with positions for pilots, cabin crew, and ground crew.

The fleet of five 50-seat Q300 aircraft that will service the regional flights will be based on Auckland.

Jetstar launched trans-Tasman flights in 2005 and domestic operations in New Zealand in June 2009.

4 comments:

  1. Celia Wade-Brown, 31. August 2015, 12:17

    More flights from the regions into Wellington mean more good news for runway extension argument! [via Twitter]

     
  2. Richard Harman, 31. August 2015, 12:18

    How does a small plane flying from Nelson justify that? Jetstar’s other flights are to Auckland. [via Twitter]

     
  3. Curtis Nixon, 31. August 2015, 13:14

    Richard – A small plane to or from a provincial airport feeds the large planes arriving to or from the main centres or overseas, using the extended airport runway at Wellington. It’s called a connecting flight. More business for the airport. More business for Wellington.

     
  4. CC, 31. August 2015, 15:17

    Another Mayoral logic bypass: New Nelson Jetstar service will create a demand for a longer runway. Sad to see that Curtis Nixon has been infected with the same malady. Is it Infratilitis?