31 August 2015

Invercargill misses out on Jetstar

Invercargill has missed out on being one of Jetstar’s new regional destinations.

The airline announced its new destinations as Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, and Palmerston North on Monday morning.

The low-fare airline announced in June they would consider Invercargill, Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North and Nelson as potential destinations.

Some southern leaders said they were disappointed Invercargill was not a new destination.

Southland District Mayor Gary Tong said he was not involved in the consultation with Jetstar, and it was disappointing they had chosen not to come here.

He was hopeful Jetstar would consider Invercargill again.

“There are certainly the numbers [of people] coming south.”

Venture Southland chief executive Paul Casson said although it was disappointing Jetstar would not be coming to Invercargill right now, other airlines might be interested.

“Visitor numbers look good for the next few months… there may be other airlines who want to fly into our region.”

Jetstar had made a commercial decision to support smaller regions than Southland, he said.

“Luckily we’ve got Air New Zealand, and they’re very good to us, which we’ve seen last week in a reduction of fares.”

The airline said the move would bring “much-needed” competition and more affordable fares to those outside the country’s main centres.

“We’ll keep talking with stakeholders in Hamilton, Rotorua, Invercargill and Tauranga because they’ve all expressed a desire for airline competition and they support Jetstar’s model of stimulating market growth through lower fares,” Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said.

Southlanders took to social media following the announcement to express their excitement at the prospect of cheaper flights.

Southland’s mayors also got on board and backed Invercargill as a potential destination.

All routes will fly between the regions and Auckland, with the Nelson flights also going to Wellington. All rates were now on sale.

Fares would start between $45 and $49. A four-hour special was being run on Monday, with fares beginning at $9.

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