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One disappointed customer who had paid to travel in October was told today his booking had been cancelled.
Jetstar had sold tickets earlier this year in the hope Australia would have joined the quarantine-free travel arrangement by then.
In an email to the customer the airline said: ''We're sorry to let you know that Jetstar is suspending its services between Auckland and Rarotonga until March 28, 2022.''
A Jetstar spokesman told The New Zealand Herald it had decided to suspend services to Rarotonga until that date for a number of operational reasons.
''However we fully intend to resume this route in late March 2022 if not earlier.''
Jetstar's services to Rarotonga originate in Australia (fifth freedom operation) so are currently not part of the NZ-Cook Island bubble.
The email said customers had the following options:
1) A Jetstar credit voucher to the full value of their untravelled booking, or
2) Refund to the full value of their untravelled booking to the form of payment for this booking, or
3) Free move to the next available travel date after March 29, 2022.
The Jetstar spokesman said for customers who opted for a refund of their Jetstar fare and still wished to travel to Rarotonga, Air New Zealand would be offering them the opportunity to book directly with them (subject to availability).
The email said Air New Zealand would respond to customers in order of travel date. Customers could expect to hear from them on these approximate dates:
• Travelling in October – from August 9.
• Travelling in November and December – from August 16
• Travelling between January and March – from August 23.
Jetstar has told customers: ''If you have a travel insurance policy which covers incidents like this and plan on making a claim, this letter could be a good one to include. We'd like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by this announcement and we hope to welcome you on one of our flights in the future.''