Flight changes: A Jetstar plane lands in Queenstown earlier this year
Goodbye Christchurch, hello high-end Australian visitors.
Budget airline Jetstar has scrapped all direct Queenstown to Christchurch flights whilst expanding direct trans-Tasman services to the Wakatipu.
Jetstar Australasian chief executive David Hall announced the major route overhaul in Auckland yesterday, revealing its five weekly Queenstown-Christchurch flights will go west.
However, it is boosting its direct Queenstown-Melbourne offering from three to four flights a week and upping direct weekly Sydney flights from two to three.
The extra flights will be on Saturdays, with the changes kicking in from November 15.
Hall tells Mountain Scene the link with Christchurch had been underperforming for a while, and customers were finding it easier to fly direct to Queenstown rather than via Christchurch.
“We’ve been watching it closely, tried to stimulate the demand through low fares. Christchurch is obviously challenged.”
However, the move was a seasonal adjustment and Jetstar will keep an eye on any potential for demand to return the link, he says.
“We’ll pull it for now, redeploy some of that capacity. I think you’ll get higher-yielding tourism dollars from across the Tasman.”
Jetstar’s Queenstown rejig is part of wider national route changes which kick in when the airline adds a ninth aircraft to its fleet in November.
All of its services between Auckland and Wellington, Auckland to Christchurch and Wellington to Christchurch will increase.
Hall says the airline has no immediate plans to revisit a direct Queenstown-Gold Coast link which was scrapped earlier this year.
Queenstown Airport chief executive Scott Paterson says the extra trans-Tasman capacity with Sydney and Melbourne brings 37,000 more seats into Queenstown a year.
“These additional services will help spur on inbound tourism for the region. Commencing the services as summer approaches also confirms that Queenstown is increasingly viewed as a year-round destination.”
Paterson says losing the Christchurch service is disappointing but not unexpected.
“We’ve been concerned about the Queenstown-Christchurch service for a while.”
Jetstar’s announcement is a week after Air New Zealand announced it will be slashing regional route fares by up to 20 per cent in a bid to stimulate domestic tourism. The new discount Air NZ fares kick in for flights from October 15.
Never ever say goodbye
So you want the high-end from Aussy do you, not looking good FRED. Alway take care of the little guy, as one day he may make it big. Now in 10 too 20 years CHCH should be pulling the overseas visitors and QT just may lose it, there are many ski fields up here and good lakes and other great stuff. Have a great DAY.
20 Sep 2012 10:58PMYEA RIGHT
Bring back the Gold coast run Jetstar.
20 Sep 2012 02:46PMRojo
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