Jetstar back in NZ skies

Jetstar aims to reach 60% of its normal domestic schedule, operating 75 return flights per week...
Jetstar aims to reach 60% of its normal domestic schedule, operating 75 return flights per week to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. Photo: NZ Herald
Competition is back in Kiwi skies with the return of budget airline Jetstar.

After three quiet months, the airline again started carrying passengers in New Zealand today.

There's been high demand for the airline's flights and 2000 customers are set to board planes today.

Jetstar reopened its New Zealand business with promotional fares as low as $21 between Auckland and Wellington.

"We know there is a lot of pent up demand for air travel in New Zealand and we've seen a strong response from customers snapping up our low fares, booking and planning flights for the weeks and months ahead," Jetstar group chief executive Gareth Evans said.

The airline is aiming to reach 60% of its normal domestic schedule, operating 75 return flights per week to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.

The airline said it would closely monitor demand, with further domestic flights likely to be added to the schedule in coming months.

It said it would introduce a number of safety measures to ensure customers do not feel at risk when flying. This includes contactless check-in, and the use of masks and sanitising wipes available to customers.

"In addition to the measures we already have in place, such as extra cleaning and hospital-grade HEPA filters onboard, customers will notice a number of differences when they fly, such as masks and sanitising wipes, to provide extra peace of mind," Evans said.

Like all airlines around the world, Jetstar has been hit hard by the impact of Covid-19.

In March, Qantas and Jetstar announced they would stand down 20,000 staff due to the impact of the virus.

The return of Jetstar coincides with a big local push by Air New Zealand.

Earlier in June, Air New Zealand expanded its domestic network with flights to Timaru and Taupo resuming, and the airline building up to running at more than 55% capacity.

This bodes well for travellers who are looking to explore domestic destinations at a time when international options remain limited.

Jetstar's July New Zealand domestic schedule:

• Auckland to Dunedin (3 return weekly flights)

• Auckland to Queenstown (14 return weekly flights)

• Auckland to Christchurch (24 weekly return flights)

• Auckland to Wellington (27 return weekly flights)

• Christchurch to Wellington (7 return weekly flights)

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