24 June 2024

Jetstar Domestic and Trans-Tasman Expansion

Jetstar plans to significantly grow its New Zealand operations, unlocking more than 240,000 new low fares seats each year and boosting tourism on both sides of the Tasman.  The first stage of its expansion includes the launch of new flights between Christchurch and Cairns, and Auckland and the Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore), with tickets going on sale at 12pm NZST today at jetstar.com. The low-cost carrier has also announced it will increase capacity on key domestic routes, starting with Christchurch to Auckland and Auckland to Wellington. It’s also planning to further grow its NZ domestic operations in the next 12 months.  In addition to the new routes, Jetstar will adjust its Christchurch to Melbourne flight times to improve connectivity to its long-haul international network. This will provide better access to Jetstar’s flights between Melbourne and Asia, including Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Singapore and Bangkok, and enhance inbound tourism to the South Island. To support the growth in flying, Jetstar will base an additional aircraft in Christchurch from December, bringing its New Zealand fleet to eight Airbus A320 aircraft. It’s the first time Jetstar has expanded its fleet in New Zealand in more than 10 years. 
Improved reliability 

This major expansion comes as Jetstar continues to deliver strong reliability in New Zealand. Over the past six months, Jetstar’s cancellations have dropped to around one per cent or less and on average, more than 80 per cent of its flights have arrived on time so far this year. Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully said today’s announcement marks the biggest boost to Jetstar’s operations in New Zealand in more than a decade.  “This month we’re celebrating our 15th birthday in New Zealand, and as we mark this milestone, we’re really excited to be entering such a significant period of growth.  “Over the past 15 years, we’ve helped make travel more accessible for millions of New Zealanders and this expansion will help to unlock hundreds of thousands of low fares and more choice for our customers and provide a significant boost to tourism on both sides of the Tasman. “Having another aircraft based in Christchurch, as well as the launch of new flights and capacity, will help establish the city as a major gateway for Jetstar in New Zealand, providing more choice and great low fares for South Island residents. “We thank Christchurch Airport and the Queensland Government for their ongoing support of low fares travel.” 

Christchurch Airport CEO, Justin Watson said:  

“Most of that increase will bolster services and offer more travel options in and out of Christchurch Airport so this is a huge vote of confidence in our city. Christchurch is thriving, Jetstar’s decided to bring even more people to the party, and we couldn’t be happier to host them. “This is a smart decision by Jetstar. The city has some major new assets, including the Te Pae, our awesome new convention centre with Te Kaha stadium and Parakiore Recreation and Sport centre coming onstream which will drive further visitor growth. Jetstar is positioning itself well to capitalise on that expansion. “More seats across the Tasman offers better choice and a direct connection with Cairns opens up a seamless two-way link to the fantastic opportunities in the South Island and in Tropical North Queensland” 

Queensland Tourism Minister and State Member for Cairns Michael Healy said: 

“We’re excited to see yet another international service booked for Cairns with a three-year commitment by Jetstar for three weekly services from Christchurch to Cairns, starting in April 2025.  “Sunshine Coast Airport will also benefit from three weekly Jetstar services arriving from Auckland starting in December 2024.  “The flights will go some way to alleviating the pain of losing Bonza Airlines from the local market.  “These will be the 33rd and 34th routes secured through the $200 million Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.  “The Fund is estimated to deliver more than 2.26 million inbound international seats and up to $1.95 billion in overnight visitor spend per year, supporting 22,700 Queensland jobs.” 

The Auckland to Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore) service will operate thrice weekly from the 13th of  December 2024.  The Christchurch to Cairns service will operate twice weekly from the 1st of April 2025. 

Source : Jetstar Media Release


  1. Will be interesting to see what Jetstars next announcement will be? “It’s also planning to further grow its NZ domestic operations in the next 12 months”. Will they go beyond their truck routes to some regions?

  2. Nope. Regional Operations are a tried and failed thing for JQ.

  3. Maybe Jetstar could acquire some 50 seater CRJ550 airplanes and use them to take on NZ routes such as Invercargill to Wellington and Christchurch, Queenstown to Rotorua and Tauranga to Christchurch thus introducing some competition for Tauranga and Invercargill as well as providing a nonstop connection between Rotorua and Queenstown.

    1. Nope. Regional Jets like the CRJs or ERJs will never see operations in NZ. We are a relatively small country. A 50 seater Dash 8 is cheaper to operate than a 50 Seater CRJ. And when you have incredibly economical and efficient Aircraft like the ATR 72-600s flying around the country, the case for Regional Jets doesn't add up or make sense.

      You won't see JQ ever compete again with NZ on Regional Routes using Turboprop or Regional Jet Aircraft. As a LLC trying to offer the lowest fares possible, the money in those sort of flights is just not there for them.

    2. You must work in the strategy team at Qantas or something with that intel?