Jetstar has this morning confirmed it will definitely cease its regional Q300 Bombardier services in New Zealand at the end of November 2019.

The certainty around the decision comes following a recent proposal to pull the routes.

The reason given was that the regional operations continue to be loss-making, combined with higher costs and a softening of the regional travel market.

It’s important to note that: The proposal DOES NOT impact Jetstar’s New Zealand domestic and international jet services.

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The airline began flying to the regional centres in December 2015 and currently offers up to 130 return services a week during the peak season across five routes – Auckland and Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth and Palmerston North and flights between Nelson and Wellington.

Jetstar’s Chief Executive Officer Gareth Evans said today’s confirmation comes after a consultation period with affected employees.

“I’d like to thank our regional team members and our loyal regional travellers and stakeholders for all their support. We gave this network a real go over the past four years, but the commercial numbers just don’t stack up to keep operating.”

Jetstar’s Chief Executive Officer Gareth Evans

Jetstar will continue to offer up to 270 domestic jet services a week on its jet services between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown and up to 100 international flights a week on the Tasman and to Rarotonga.

The airline has offered alternative re-employment options to all of the affected employees.

Customers booked on Jetstar regional flights beyond 30 November 2019 are being offered a range of options including a full refund for their cancelled flight or the option to transfer their booking to any of Jetstar’s other available domestic NZ services.

Air New Zealand is also assisting affected customers who have refunded their Jetstar flight with a special fare. Eligible customers can email [email protected] with proof of their affected Jetstar ticket.

 

Air New Zealand Steps in

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In response to the news, Air New Zealand has stepped in to support affected Jetstar customers by offering discounted airfares to Jetstar customers affected by the changes.

Air New Zealand says that affected Jetstar customers will be able to purchase an Air New Zealand seat-only fare for the same route on the same day (schedule permitting) for no more than $50 each way.

“We know how important air services are for regional New Zealand and that’s why we’re stepping in to support Jetstar customers with a special discounted fare,”

Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace

Eligible customers can email [email protected] with proof of their affected Jetstar ticket to take advantage of Air New Zealand’s offer of support.

Mr Wallace says Air New Zealand will commit to not increase its lowest lead-in fares on the routes affected by Jetstar’s withdrawal until at least the end of 2020, subject to fuel prices remaining stable.

That means fares starting at $39 each way will remain for Napier and New Plymouth to Auckland, as well as Napier, New Plymouth and Nelson to Wellington. Lead-in fares for Auckland to Palmerston North and Nelson will continue to start at $49 each way.

Mr Wallace says Air New Zealand will explore opportunities to add further capacity to the routes affected by Jetstar’s planned withdrawal over the coming weeks.

“Air New Zealand currently has 51 aircraft operating 320 flights per day to regional centres. We will evaluate the demand outlook on the affected Jetstar routes and determine whether we have the flexibility within our current fleet to add more capacity.”