Blue skies for regional travellers as Jetstar takes off between Napier, Nelson and Auckland

  • Regional travellers celebrate as low fares touch down around the country
  • Over 150 new jobs created as Jetstar expands
  • Special launch day ‘Return for Free’ sale^ on regional network

Low fares travel in the regions becomes a reality today as Jetstar starts flying the first of five new regional routes in New Zealand.

Flights begin on two new routes today – Napier to Auckland and Nelson to Auckland.

David Hall, Jetstar CEO Australia and New Zealand, said demand for the regional services had exceeded expectations.

“Nearly 3,500 customers are booked on the first week’s services with a number of flights sold out and average loads of over 85 per cent,” Mr Hall said.

“Already, more than 30,000 Kiwis have snapped up fares on the new routes for under $50, and we’ll continue to save people money when they fly to our new regional destinations.

“I think if you asked any person who flies regionally in New Zealand they would tell you that they’ve never seen regional air fares as low and readily available as they are now.

“That’s what choice brings to markets and that’s exactly what Jetstar is all about; stimulating airline travel and competition through lower fares.

“We thank our customers and our travel industry partners throughout the country for the support they’ve provided so that we can give more Kiwis a choice of airlines when they fly domestically.”

Celebrations begin early this morning at Hawke’s Bay Airport ahead of Jetstar’s first commercial regional service from Napier to Auckland at 9:00am, scheduled to land an hour later in Auckland to a traditional water arch welcome.

The first commercial service between Auckland and Nelson is scheduled to depart at 11:45am, arriving at the top of the South Island at 1:10pm.

All regional flights are operated using 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turboprop aircraft. Return flights are being operated three times a day between Napier and Auckland and Nelson and Auckland initially, moving to four times a day from February next year.

Mr Hall said the airline was making a significant investment in the regional operation.

“In addition to creating 150 jobs around the country including pilots, cabin crew, ground crew and support staff, new check-in facilities and offices have been built at Nelson, Napier and Auckland airports for regional operations and similar work is either planned or underway in New Plymouth and Palmerston North.

“A further economic boost and flow-on jobs growth is expected in the regions from increased travel and tourism opportunities.”

A further three regional routes – Palmerston North-Auckland, New Plymouth-Auckland and Nelson-Wellington – will start on 1 February next year.

A special launch day ‘Return for Free’ sale^ is being offered today to celebrate the inaugural flights. Customers who book a one-way flight on the regional network for selected travel periods can book their return flight for free^.

All Jetstar domestic fares in New Zealand, including the new regional services, offer the ability for Qantas Frequent Flyer members to earn Qantas Points*. Together with the broader Qantas Group network, including partners like American Airlines, points earned on regional services can go towards domestic and overseas travel.

The Jetstar regional services are operated by Qantas-owned Eastern Australia Airlines, which has operated Q300 aircraft in Australia for QantasLink for over 15 years.

Jetstar 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 250 domestic and 100 international flights a week. Jetstar has over 500 team members in New Zealand.

Regional start dates and frequency

Direct routes

Start date



1 Dec 2015

21 flights per week (1 Dec-31 Jan 2016)

27 flights per week (from 1 Feb 2016)


1 Dec 2015

21 flights per week (1 Dec-31 Jan 2016)

27 flights per week (from 1 Feb 2016)

New Plymouth-Auckland

1 Feb 2016

27 flights per week

Palmerston North-Auckland

1 Feb 2016

27 flights per week


1 Feb 2016

21 flights per week

Regional aircraft information

Jetstar’s fleet of five 50--seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft will be based in Auckland and operated on behalf of Jetstar by Qantas-owned Eastern Australia Airlines. In addition to the new livery the aircraft interiors have been refreshed with new leather seating to match Jetstar’s Airbus A320 fleet. Standard seat pitch is a generous 32 inches. Carry-on baggage is a maximum of 7 kg. For more details on regional services visit Jetstar.com/nz/en/nzregional.

^ Return for Free fares are on sale from 12.01am (NZDT) until 11:59pm (NZDT) on 1 Dec 2015 (unless sold out prior), for travel 2 Feb-22 Mar 2016 (between Auckland and Palmerston North or Napier or New Plymouth) and 3 May-28 Jun 2016 (between Nelson and Auckland or Wellington). Sale fares not available on all flights or days and conditions apply. Checked baggage not included but may be added for a fee. * Jetstar domestic sectors included as part of international itineraries will not attract Qantas Points. Points earn will continue to be available via Plus and Max bundles.

About Jetstar

About Jetstar Group

Jetstar first took to the skies in 2004 and has since flown more than 350 million customers across an extensive international and domestic network. The Jetstar Group is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. A leading low-fares airline, Jetstar is committed to offering everyday low fares to enable more people to fly to more places, more often. As one of Asia Pacific’s fastest-growing airline brands, Jetstar was voted Best Low-Cost Airline in Asia Pacific in 2021 and was recognized for its excellent flight safety records and services when listed on the "2022 World's Top 10 LCC" released by Airline Ratings.