After only four years, Jetstar has ceased all of its regional flights using Dash-8/Q300 aircraft in New Zealand. Following the news in October, the last flight has been completed.
Jetstar Q300 at Wellington | © Mark Tantrum
The ceasing of regional flights in New Zealand has come from these services being loss-making, higher costs and a softening of demand. Jetstar’s CEO had stated
“I’d like to thank our regional team members and our loyal regional travellers and stakeholders for all their support. We gave this network a real go over the past four years, but the commercial numbers just don’t stack up to keep operating.”
Jetstar continues to offer up to 270 domestic jet services a week on its jet services between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown and up to 100 international flights a week on the Tasman and to Rarotonga.
Jetstar Crew in front of their Q300 in Auckland | © Jetstar
The airline has offered alternative re-employment options to all of the affected employees and nearly all have indicated they would like to take up the opportunity to remain with the Qantas Group.
The news has come months after Air New Zealand and Jetstar owner, Qantas signed a code-share agreement on domestic services both in New Zealand and Australia. This provided Qantas customers with the opportunity to fly on Air New Zealand Domestic and Regional services instead of their own Jetstar flights.
Air New Zealand now regains the monopoly on many of these routes. Consumer New Zealand’s Jessica Wilson told Newshub having a monopoly in place often doesn’t end well for customers. Wilson said Air New Zealand won’t have as much pressure to give people a good deal with its main operation gone.
“It is a question of putting more scrutiny on the airlines’ prices, with any monopoly provider there’s that real risk that consumers could end up paying more.” “The airline’s decision to pull out of these routes will leave the market pretty much to Air New Zealand and with no major rival, there won’t be the same competitive pressures on price.
“That increases the chances that consumers will end up paying more.”
Air New Zealand ATR 72 along with Q300’s at Nelson Airport, which was served by Jetstar Regional | © EV Brown
Air New Zealand has already offered cheaper airfares to passengers who booked with Jetstar and will be affected by the changes. They have offered passengers a deal that they will pay up to $50 for a flight on the same day as their affected Jetstar flight.