Jetstar expands regional NZ network with three new routes as passenger numbers soar in Nelson and Napier

Many passengers on our new regional services have never flown before or haven’t travelled by air for many years. That’s the kind of growth a low fares airline brings to new routes – new customers and more frequent fliers.
David Hall, Jetstar Australia and New Zealand CEO
  • Jetstar adds Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson-Wellington
  • Passenger numbers jump in Nelson and Napier on the back of new regional flights
  • Strong December and January loads of over 90 percent

More New Zealanders than ever before will have access to Jetstar’s affordable flights when new services take off today from Auckland to New Plymouth and Palmerston North, and Nelson to Wellington.

The three routes are an expansion of the airline’s new regional network, which has delivered strong passenger growth in Nelson and Napier since launching in December last year.

Overall passenger numbers through Nelson Airport rose 18% in December compared with the same month the previous year, with traffic on the Nelson-Auckland route jumping 33%.

Hawkes Bay Airport had a record December with passenger numbers increasing 14% compared with December 2014.

David Hall, Jetstar CEO Australia and New Zealand, said passenger loads on the new regional services were above 90 percent in December and January.

“This year we’ll have over 600,000 seats on sale across our New Zealand regional network providing more opportunities for more Kiwis to fly more often for less," Mr Hall said.

“Since we started selling our regional flights in August last year tens of thousands of New Zealand travellers have booked tickets for under $50, backing up our commitment to bring low fares choice to the market.

“We’re very happy with how our flights from Auckland to Nelson and Napier have taken off with Kiwi travellers and we’re sure the three routes we’re launching today will also be popular.”

Mr Hall said the increase in passenger numbers at Nelson and Hawke’s Bay airports were a great example of how Jetstar’s low fares stimulate markets.

“Many passengers on our new regional services have never flown before or haven’t travelled by air for many years. That’s the kind of growth a low fares airline brings to new routes – new customers and more frequent fliers.”

Mr Hall said Jetstar’s new network was helping to boost tourism in both Nelson and Napier.

“Tourism operators in both regions have reported having a very busy summer and have noted the Jetstar effect in bringing more travellers to their region.

“It’s exciting to see more Kiwis flying regionally and exploring more of their own country thanks to affordable travel options.”

Customers on the first flight from Auckland to New Plymouth at 9.00am today will depart from a new $2 million Jetstar regional lounge at the northern end of Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal.

New Plymouth Airport has added a temporary Jetstar terminal building to support the launch of the new services and Palmerston North Airport has also made changes to accommodate increased traffic.

Airport celebrations will be held in both new destinations to mark today’s inaugural flights.

The first Jetstar flight is scheduled to touch down in New Plymouth at 9.50am and in Palmerston North at 3.45pm.

The inaugural Nelson-Wellington service will depart at 10.05am, arriving in Wellington at 10.40am. Return services are offered three times a day on the Nelson-Wellington route.

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

Jetstar has five 50-seat Bombardier Q300s based in New Zealand for its regional operation. The services are operated by Qantas-owned Eastern Australia Airlines, which has operated Q300 aircraft in Australia for QantasLink for over 15 years.

The regional expansion has created over 150 new jobs around the country for pilots, cabin crew, ground crew and support staff.

Regional start dates and frequency

Direct routes                                          

Start date                        



1 Dec 2015

27 flights per week


1 Dec 2015

27 flights per week


1 Feb 2016

21 flights per week

New Plymouth-Auckland

1 Feb 2016

27 flights per week^

Palmerston North-Auckland

1 Feb 2016

27 flights per week^

Regional aircraft information

Jetstar’s fleet of five 50--seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft are based in Auckland and operated on behalf of Jetstar by Qantas-owned Eastern Australia Airlines. In addition to 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 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. ^ 21 flights per week in February – full schedule from March 2016.