Grant Bradley

Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Jetstar cancels flights as domestic demand sags

Photo / Greg Bowker
Photo / Greg Bowker

Jetstar has cancelled hundreds of domestic flights because of sagging demand on main trunk routes over May and June.

A Jetstar spokesman said schedule "optimisation" was done from time to time.

"It's a low season over that period so we're probably doing more than normal. It's business as usual, it doesn't signify anything."

The airline has been flying domestic routes here since 2009 and late last year significantly boosted capacity seats with the addition of a ninth aircraft.

The spokesman said the cancellations were concentrated on the Auckland-Wellington route where it has most services and most passengers could be rebooked on alternate flights "within hours."

"Optimisation means you take a look at market demand and how many flights you've got and you change your schedule accordingly - all airlines do it."

He said the airline would not cancel flights for commercial reasons in less than a seven-day period.

"You don't do that because it stuffs everybody up but looking further out decisions are made ensuring the majority can be put on to other flights within a matter of hours."

While around 300 services had been dropped over the two months, the spokesman said there were 2600 domestic flights over that period.

Most of the cancellations were on the Auckland-Wellington route where it has most of its services.

"It has to be taken in context - we put 600,000 new seats into the market last year which is a big increase."

The airline - which is investigating flying regional routes - also flies transtasman services.

- NZ Herald

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