31 August 2015

And the lucky four are...

Nelson, Napier, Palmerston North and New Plymouth are Jetstar's four new regional routes, the airline said on Monday morning. The low-cost airline chose the destinations from a longlist of Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Nelson and Invercargill. All routes will fly between the regions and Auckland, with the Nelson flights also going to Wellington. All rates were now on sale. Fares would start between $45 and $49. A four-hour special was being run on Monday, with fares beginning at $9. Nelson MP Nick Smith said it was "fantastic news" for Nelson, an isolated region that depended on the strengths of its links with other parts of New Zealand. "Studies show that on average air fares are 30 per cent less where there is effective competition and that amounts to millions of dollars of savings and thousands more visitors to Nelson." Smith said the Jetstar's link was important to the visitor industry but the biggest gain for Nelson was making nationwide businesses viable in Nelson and for people to be able to easily connect across the country through more competitive air services. ​"With house prices going through the roof in Auckland there is an opportunity for us to attract businesses to our region." He was "pretty loyal" to Air New Zealand, a good company that deserved credit for its substantial investment in maintenance services in Nelson. "But I still believe the region's overall benefit is in having a choice of services," ​Smith said. Palmerston North mayor Grant Smith said the announcement was welcome for the city and for the broader region. "It's only good news," he said. "The region will get lower fares and it will also help people who otherwise couldn't travel. "There is choice there for them," he said. Smith expected the move to give tourism in the region a boost and help retailers and agribusiness as well. "It will bring more travellers to the region," he said. "Attractions like the [Manawatu] Gorge and the Tui brewery will become more accessible." The first of Jetstar's fleet of five regional 50-seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft to service the routes arrived in Wellington over the weekend.

Jetstar's first Bombardier Q300 VH-TQM at Wellington

On the four routes out of Auckland Jetstar's competition is going to be Air New Zealand... Four airlines will operate on the Wellington-Nelson sector... it will be interesting to see how that plays out 


  1. Aviation and Nelson have always gone hand in hand. Busiest Regional in the country I believe. Sounds Air will probably be okay, Air New Zealand have probably never seen them as much of a threat. They are just there, making a go of it. Im not sure where Origin Air fits into it now. They will be one of the more expensive options, last minute options with Air NZ can be cheaper than what Origin are charging. Is the demand there for 4 airlines?? Ive been on WLG-NSN flights that are near empty.

    Being that the bulk of Jetstar Regionals work will be through Auckland, i do wonder how the AIAL have arranged gate space for these new arrivals. When Air Chathams introduced their WHK services, they had to plan their arrivals/departures around Gate availability.

  2. Probably remote gate operations at AA for the Dash. They'll just have to pad out their turn around times to allow for this and in turn this will aid on time performance.
    I pity OriginAir as this will surely put the route, yet to be flown by them, in serious jeopardy. They'd be better off redeploying to a NS-CH city pair if they can offset the costs of the longer sector time.

  3. Just to extend your comment on the WLG - NSN near empty flights. I wondered what made them choose it. Surely they would'be been better going to AKL or CHC - people wanted cheaper fares and this possible on these more frequently used routes. Now if people want to jetstar AKL - NSN for example, they have to go via WLG and spend about the same price as going direct with ANZ. I just don't think they're going to survive WLG - NSN at all. Plus when origin air join the route, there's going to be too many companies for the demand there is and so they're going to have smaller amounts of passengers and with the fares they're charging, they're going to lose money and do the ANZ losing too much money have to pull out drama and then demand goes down even more. They seriously need to rethink this in the interest of the flying public and their money.

  4. The flights to Auckland and Wellington from Nelson are both direct flights.