30 November 2019

Jetstar's Regional Network Laid to Rest

Jetstar ended its regional operations Bombardier Q300 services this evening. Jetstar's last regional flight, JQ378, from Nelson to Auckland has just landed. 

The Auckland-based regional operations began on the 1st of December 2015. Initially flights were offered from Auckland to Napier and Nelson. On the first day of operations Q300 VH-SBI flew Napier–Auckland–Nelson–Auckland–Napier as “SCR 350/371/372/357”. On the 1st of February 2016 flights began between Auckland and New Plymouth (first flight operated by VH-SBI), Auckland and Palmerston North (first flight operated by VH-TQM) and Nelson and Wellington.

By March 2016 Jetstar was operating its full schedule of 27 flights per week from Auckland to each of its regional ports, that is, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Auckland, and 21 flights per week between Nelson and Wellington

The initial frequency was found to be too high and the schedule for winter 2017 saw flights reduced to 14 flights a week between Auckland and New Plymouth and 22 flights per week between Auckland and Palmerston North. The services between Wellington and Nelson were reduced from 3 to 2 daily flights. There continued to be seasonal fluctuation over the coming years.

In announcing the decision to end the regional services on the 25th of September 2019 Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said the decision came about due to an increase in costs and a drop in demand. "We understand there will be disappointment in regional centres at today's announcement," he said. "The New Zealand regional market is facing some headwinds, with softer demand and higher fuel costs and we don't see the outlook changing any time soon. "We have given it a real go. However, despite four years of hard work - including becoming the most on-time of the two major regional airlines and having high customer satisfaction - our regional network continues to be loss-making." The airline had lost $20 million flying the regional network last year.

Lining up at Auckland Airport for the last day's services, Jetstar Bombardier Q300s VH-TQD, VH-TQL VH-SBI VH-TQM. Thanks to Philip Kyle for this awesome historical photo.  

The final services into Auckland on 30 November 2019

On the final day of operations the following sectors were operated.

VH-SBI operated AKL-NSN (JQ371), NSN-WLG (JQ391), WLG-NSN (JQ390), NSN-AKL (JQ372), AKL-NSN (JQ375) NSN-WLG (JQ395) WLG-NSN (JQ394), NSN-AKL (JQ376)

VH-TQD operated AKL-PMR (JQ381), PMR-AKL (JQ382), AKL-NPL (JQ361), NPL-AKL (JQ362), AKL-NPE (JQ355), NPE-AKL (JQ356), AKL-NSN (JQ377) , NSN-AKL (JQ378)

VH-TQL operated AKL-NPE (JQ351), NPE-AKL (JQ352), AKL-NPE (JQ353), NPE-AKL (JQ354), AKL-NPE (JQ355), NPE-AKL (JQ356), AKL-NPL (JQ365), NPL-AKL (JQ364), AKL-PMR (JQ387), PMR-AKL (JQ388)

VH-TQM operated AKL-NSN (JQ377), NSN-AKL (JQ378), AKL-NSN (JQ373), NSN-WLG (JQ393), WLG-NSN (JQ392), NSN-AKL (JQ374),

Over the four years Jetstar operated six Bombardier Q300s on its regional services...

VH-SBI at Auckland on 19 January 2019
VH-SBW at Auckland on 3 December 2017
VH-TQD at Auckland on 1 August 2016
VH-TQK at Auckland on 5 April 2018
VH-TQL at Auckland on 20 January 2019
VH-TQM at Nelson on 24 January 2018


  1. $20M in one year! Obvious when you don't charge enough to cover your costs. Why do people think that your flight should cost less than the taxi ride to the airport?

    1. Because they're unaware of the cost to run an aircraft and see it as just any other form of public transport. The rise of LCc's has contributed to this perception. Running a fleet of 5 Dash 8's on $29 fares was never going to be profitable but, even when they're gone, unfortunately people don't understand that maybe they should pay a little bit more and keep their air services