Jetstar says it remains
committed to New Zealand amid speculation its parent Qantas
is set to announce it will axe thousands of jobs when it
releases its financial results on Thursday.
Jetstar chief executive for Australia and New Zealand, David
Hall, said he could not comment on reports of job losses or
the financial plight of Qantas, but his airline was
performing well in New Zealand.
"There's a lot of speculation of the eve of any announcement
and I'm not going to comment on it but we're very pleased
with our business here. We're certainly in it for the long
haul, we're committed to the market and we're always looking
for growth," Hall said.
The airline launched domestic operations here in June 2009,
flying main trunk routes in competition to Air New Zealand,
after starting trans-Tasman services four years earlier.
"We're in a blackout period at the moment [due to the pending
release of financial results] but for the year ended June 30
(2013) we carried over 1.8 million customers and we're seeing
comparable numbers this year," Hall said.
New Zealand was an important part of Jetstar's Australasian
operations and the strong economy in this country would
further stimulate demand, he said.
While Jetstar's New Zealand financial performance is not
specified in Qantas' results, the airline has said previously
it breaks even or is close to breaking even in this country.
On Thursday Qantas is expected to announce a A$300 million
loss for the past six months and up to A$2 billion in cost
savings which could mean 3000 job losses.
The airline suffers high legacy labour costs, has had its
lucrative domestic corporate market eroded by Virgin
Australia, just on 25 per cent owned by Air New Zealand.
Qantas has yet to enjoy substantial benefits from its
partnership with Emirates, which was set up last year to stem
large losses the Australian airline has suffered on its long
Qantas pulled out of flying from Auckland to Los Angeles in
2012 as part of an early cost cutting drive but its own
trans-Tasman services are an important part of its network
and paid a big dividend last year.
Jetconnect, a New Zealand-based operation was set up with
lower labour costs and paid Qantas a $NZ156 million dividend.
Jetstar will tomorrow launch Boeing 787 Dreamliner services
between Auckland and Melbourne, three days a week for a
- By Grant Bradley of
the NZ Herald