Jetstar expands Queenstown services

By Owen Hembry

Jetstar says seven Airbus A320s will bolster its New Zealand fleet by December. Photo / Supplied
Jetstar says seven Airbus A320s will bolster its New Zealand fleet by December. Photo / Supplied

Low-fare airline Jetstar is expanding its transtasman services with flights from Melbourne and the Gold Coast to Queenstown.

Jetstar will start twice-a-week flights from the Australian airports in December and also expand its Auckland to Queenstown service from daily to 11 times a week.

Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said the company had a vision for future growth in Queenstown "backed by this announced large expansion in flying to and from the region prior to the end of this year".

The new Queenstown flights represented an additional 72,000 seats a year and the Gold Coast was a new transtasman route, the company said.

Jetstar was meeting its promise to deliver further growth and investment into the adventure destination, supported by an additional A320 for its New Zealand fleet that would grow to seven in December, Buchanan said.

Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said Queenstown was one of the unique destinations in the Asia-Pacific region.

"More Australians now ski in Queenstown than visitors from other parts of New Zealand," Westaway said.

"We've got a really strategic long-term plan for New Zealand and you'll see more building to come."

Jetstar was keen to operate night services at Queenstown, which would require investment in lighting and in technology both from an airport and airline perspective, Westaway said.

"If we think commercially it's viable and operationally we can sustain it we'll look at night services as early as the second half of 2011."

Auckland International Airport last week said it had formed a strategic alliance with Queenstown Airport, as part of which it was investing $27.7 million for a 24.99 per cent stake.

Auckland Airport chief executive Simon Moutter said the new Jetstar services would stimulate demand for tourism attractions in Queenstown and drive substantial additional economic benefit in the region.

Meanwhile, Jetstar parent company Qantas yesterday said it would receive the first of 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in mid-2012.

Qantas said it had reached agreement with Boeing to bring forward the delivery of eight B787-8 Dreamliners by about two years and the first aircraft would be used by Jetstar for international operations.

An Air New Zealand spokesman said the airline would receive the 787-9 version of the Dreamliner in late 2013.

ARRIVALS

Jetstar to Queenstown:
* Twice a week from Melbourne and the Gold Coast.
* Auckland route expanded from daily to 11 times week.
* New flights represent an additional 72,000 seats a year.
* New services will start during December.
* One-way fares to Melbourne and Gold Coast from $199.

- NZ Herald

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