21 September 2012

Jetstar News for Christchurch and Wellington

Jetstar has committed a ninth A320 jet to its New Zealand-based fleet in a move that will significantly strengthen its main trunk operations. The extra plane will add 600,000 seats a year between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, a capacity and frequency boost that will give Jetstar added flexibility and around 24% of the market, and give its competitor some serious gyp. From 15NOV, Jetstar will double its current Auckland – Wellington frequency to 10 flights a day, and will add a daily 0815 flight from Wellington to Christchurch, “breaking the morning monopoly” on that route, according to David Hall, CEO Jetstar Australia & New Zealand. Jetstar’s direct Auckland-Christchurch frequency will also increase to seven flights per day. “Scale, growth and frequency make it a very compelling product,” says Mr Hall of his airline’s increased offering. “Our decision was bolstered by the confidence the market has in us and by price sensitive mums and dads and by savvy business travellers who know they can do day returns to those key destinations at affordable rates.” The extra frequencies strengthen and underpin Jetstar’s operational flexibility, says Mr Hall. The low cost carrier will also boost its Trans Tasman operation from 15NOV by lifting its Melbourne-Queenstown frequency from 3 to 4pw and Sydney-Queenstown flights from 2pw to 3pw. The new schedule effectively delivers 131,000 additional seats into Christchurch even though the changes will see Jetstar reduce services between Christchurch and the Gold Coast and Melbourne by one flight per week due to reduced demand. JQ will still, however, provide three services a week and daily flights respectively on these routes. Due to changing travel patterns, with customers now finding it easier to fly to Queenstown direct rather than via Christchurch, and a lack of market demand for travel between Christchurch and Queenstown, Jetstar is also cancelling its 5pw service on that route.

Mixed reaction to Jetstar announcement

Christchurch Airport chief executive Jim Boult says Jetstar’s growth is welcome news, as is the announcement of increased services on the main trunk routes. “We are New Zealand’s second largest airport, so the extra services between Christchurch and Wellington are sure to be well received, as will the timings of the services between Christchurch and Auckland,” says Mr Boult. “However we are surprised and disappointed to see five weekly services between Christchurch and Queenstown suspended. “Christchurch Airport is acknowledged as the gateway to the South Island, with five times the volume of any other airport in the South Island. That volume, of both people and freight, is sure to increase as the city’s rebuild changes up a gear, so we are surprised Jetstar is not positioning to take advantage of that.” Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport’s chief executive, says “We are elated that Jetstar is boosting their capacity by 506,000 seats per year on Wellington’s most popular routes. “Since April 2009, Jetstar has carried around 1.8 million passengers domestically and with the new schedule we expect Jetstar to carry one million passengers in the next 12 months,” he says. The 50% increase in capacity means Jetstar will now operate a business friendly schedule from Wellington with up to 10 return flights to Auckland and three return flights to Christchurch daily. Business travellers will also be able to arrive in Auckland an hour earlier with flights running every 90 minutes. The Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce President Richard Stone has welcomed Jetstar’s decision to increase flights into and out of Wellington. “The new flights will increase the numbers of visitors to Wellington and improve the ability of business travellers to cost effectively travel around the country,” he said. “We hope that Jetstar will continue to expand its flights out of Wellington to a wider range of domestic destinations. We also hope it will introduce trans-Tasman flights from Wellington,” Mr Stone added. Glenn Wedlock, Auckland Airport General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, said, “We anticipate a fantastic reaction from the market. “Another benefit of this announcement is that it offers further opportunities to better connect Auckland to other parts of New Zealand for inbound travel, and to international services such as Jetstar to Singapore for outbound travel.” Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Martin Snedden welcomed Jetstar’s increased flights between Australia and Queenstown, saying it would help grow New Zealand’s largest source of international visitors. “The flow-on effects of the increased Jetstar services will benefit TIA members around the country, including attractions, activities, accommodation and transport providers,” Mr Snedden says.

Source : http://www.travelmemo.co.nz/memos/20120921.pdf

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