Queenstown is about to become the impulse weekend break of
choice for even more Australians with the introduction of
additional cheap direct flights, starting in less than a
However, Queenstown and Christchurch residents,
businesspeople and visitors will have to make alternative
arrangements to get between the two centres with the axing of
the direct Queenstown-Christchurch flight.
Jetstar is poised to start an extra return service between
Queenstown and Melbourne, taking flights from three to four
per week, and will also boost the Queenstown-Sydney flights
from two to three per week.
The two extra transtasman services will fly on Saturday,
leaving Australia in the morning and arriving in the resort
The airline told the Otago Daily Times yesterday the
additional services would mean an extra 600 seats a week in
and out of Queenstown. Staff employment levels would stay the
The new services will boost the total number of Jetstar
transtasman seats in and out of the Wakatipu to almost 2000 a
The Qantas subsidiary has consistently invested in its
Queenstown services since it started flying into Queenstown
in June 2009.
A spokesman said the resort was a popular holiday destination
for Australians "because it combines a stunning landscape
with a huge range of sporting activities".
"It's a year-round resort and appeals to a real cross-section
of travellers of all ages.
"Jetstar has had good support for its current services into
Queenstown from Australia and we believe the Southern Lakes
capital is such a world-class holiday destination that demand
will continue for affordable flights that offer easy access
for Australian travellers."
The airline's new schedule introduced this month delivers
extra seats into Christchurch.
However, Jetstar said it was cancelling its five weekly
services between Christchurch and Queenstown because
customers now found it easier to fly to the resort directly
than via the Garden City.
The last direct Queenstown-Christchurch service will fly on
Jetstar will also reduce its services between Christchurch
and the Gold Coast and also Melbourne by one flight per week,
while continuing to provide three services a week and daily
The airline will increase its New Zealand fleet from eight to
nine Airbus A320 aircraft from Thursday.
Jetstar services between Auckland, Wellington and
Christchurch are expected to grow by 600,000 seats a year. It
already has 20% of the domestic market.