Jetstar will add an extra five flights, or 1600 seats,
between Sydney and Queenstown in July, in addition to more
than 15,000 seats to be added between Australia and the
resort in July and August, as announced last month.
The rise means the low-cost airline and subsidiary of Qantas
will fly Australian and long-haul tourists six times a week
into Queenstown throughout July when both Coronet Peak and
the Remarkables ski areas will be fully operational.
The winter capacity boosts are the first schedule increase
for Jetstar and the resort since its Melbourne-Queenstown and
Sydney-Queenstown services permanently stepped up a flight
each to four flights and three flights a week respectively
from November 12.
Jetstar New Zealand head Grant Kerr, of Auckland, said the
increases reflected the growing appetite among Australians
for direct flights to their destinations, when he visited
Queenstown for a Tourism Industry Association engagement last
''The winter flights underscore the importance of Queenstown
and the commitment for us to New Zealand,'' Mr Kerr said.
''We've been in the country five years domestically, nine
years across the Tasman and this year celebrating 10 years
for the entire business.''
Mr Kerr said the difference between a low-cost airline and a
full-value airline was people deciding how to spend their
''They say, 'I've got a pot of money to spend. Do I want to
spend a lot of that on my air fares and have less to spend in
''We know people who travel on us, the majority of their
spend is in their destination, so that money sticks in their
destination. We know the value we have, so by putting extra
flights in creates the opportunity for anybody to be able to
afford to fly.''
Mr Kerr said the airline would adjust capacity, up or down,
depending on demand.
Adjustments came last year when Jetstar maintained up to 16
Auckland-Queenstown flights a week, but dropped
Wellington-Queenstown and Christchurch-Queenstown services.
Those suspensions kept the airport's domestic passenger
numbers flat throughout 2013 and they finished 0.8% down
compared with 2012.
Jetstar had no plans to reconnect the capital and Garden City
with Queenstown, but the carrier was always seeking
opportunities to expand markets, Mr Kerr said.
The airline maintains its support for evening flights at
Queenstown Airport and the resort would benefit from the
growth in passenger numbers, he said.
''From a low-cost airline point of view, it's important to
utilise our aircraft as much as we can, that's how we keep
costs down, so any added usability we can get from the
destinations we fly to is key,'' Mr Kerr said.
Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Scott Paterson
said the outlook for the winter season was looking
''extremely positive'' and transtasman flights were up 25% on
''We're absolutely delighted with the strong support shown by
Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia and Jetstar.''
Mr Paterson said.
''We have a record 50 direct transtasman flights on average
arriving each week this winter - up 10 a week on last year -
as well as larger aircraft, with more seat capacity being
Queenstown winter flight schedule increases include:
• Qantas stepping up its three Sydney-Queenstown flights per
week to daily flights between July 4 and October 30. It will
also operate a weekly Brisbane-Queenstown service on
Saturdays from June 28 to September 27.
• Alliance partners Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia
adding 40,000 seats to and from Queenstown between July and
September. Transtasman seat capacity to Queenstown will
increase more than 12% with up to five additional alliance
services per week between Queenstown and Brisbane, Sydney and
• Air New Zealand increasing domestic capacity by 11% from
Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch by upgrading to larger
A320 aircraft on a number of existing services.
• Jetstar adding 15,000 seats between Australia and
Queenstown in July and August. Melbourne-Queenstown services
will rise from four times a week to daily and
Sydney-Queenstown will move from three to five flights per