Jetstar Airways (Melbourne) has announced plans to start flying to regional destinations in New Zealand starting in December*.
The new services will be operated by a fleet of five 50-seat Bombardier DHC-8-300 (Q300) Dash 8 turboprop aircraft and are expected to create at least 100 new jobs for pilots, cabin crew, and ground crew.
The services are expected to operate to at least four regional destinations initially, with some of those under consideration being Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier and Palmerston North in the North Island and Nelson and Invercargill in the South Island. These will connect with one or more of Jetstar’s current domestic destinations.
Regional fares will go on sale in September with first flights taking off in early December, in time for the busy summer and holiday season.
Jetstar Airways, which is fully owned by QANTAS Airways, launched Trans-Tasman flights in 2005 and established domestic operations in New Zealand in June 2009. The low cost carrier’s fleet of nine Airbus A320 aircraft operate up to up to 240 domestic and 100 international flights a week.
Jetstar has crew bases in Auckland and Christchurch and provides employment for over 400 pilots, cabin crew, engineers and ground crew around the country.
The Jetstar-branded regional services, which will be marketed and managed by Jetstar, will be operated by QANTAS Link. Under this arrangement, QANTAS-owned Eastern Australia Airlines (Sydney), which has operated Q200 and Q300 aircraft in Australia for QANTAS Link for over 15 years, will manage the aircraft operations.
* Services are subject to regulatory approval.
Copyright Photo: Rob Finlayson/AirlinersGallery.com. Eastern Australia Airlines operates both the pictured Bombardier (de Havilland Canada) DHC-8-200 Dash 8 and the DHC-8-300 (Q300) aircraft types on regional routes in Australia under the QANTAS Link brand. DHC-8-201 VH-TQG (msn 430) waits for the next flight at the gate at Hobart, Tasmania.
Video: QANTAS Link operations.