Survey finds overwhelming support for new Jetstar regional flights in New Zealand
Nearly 95% of regional flyers say Jetstar’s planned new services are a good idea
Two out of three travellers believe current regional flights don’t offer value for money
68% of regional flyers have driven to another city to catch a domestic flight to save money
A nationwide survey on Jetstar’s planned regional flights has found overwhelming support for the new services with 89% of travellers saying they’re a good idea, rising to 94% in the regions.
Jetstar commissioned the independent research following its June announcement that it would begin regional services later this year to four destinations. Those under consideration are Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson and Invercargill.
The online survey* was completed by 900 travellers in July. Respondents were evenly split between those living in regional and main centres. All had taken at least one regional domestic flight in the past year.
Cheaper fares, more competition and more choice were cited as the key reasons travellers supported Jetstar’s regional expansion.
A number of those surveyed said that Jetstar regional services would benefit local economies, with one respondent noting it could even make regional commuting more viable: “As more people are priced out of Auckland they may choose to commute from regions if transport infrastructure is there.”
The survey found that around two out of three travellers (63%) thought the regional flights they had taken in the past 12 months did not represent value for money. This feeling was higher in the regions (67%) than in metropolitan centres (60%).
Nearly all travellers believed Jetstar’s entry into regional markets would boost passenger numbers, with 95% agreeing that more people would fly into the regions if cheaper fares were available. 87% of all respondents said they personally would consider flying regionally more often if fares were cheaper.
The survey also asked people living outside Jetstar’s current markets of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Otago if they had ever driven to another city to catch a domestic flight because of the cost of regional services. Of the more than 400 regional flyers surveyed, 68% said they had made a road trip to save money before taking to the air domestically.
Grant Kerr, Head of Jetstar New Zealand, said the survey results were highly encouraging and echoed the sentiments expressed on regional visits in June and July.
“We’ve had a very positive response to our June announcement and the feedback we’ve received on our regional visits has been equally supportive,” Mr Kerr said.
“The results of the survey show that travellers outside the main centres want competition, choice, and low fares. And I’m sure they don’t want to have to drive to another city just to be able to catch an affordable domestic flight.”
Mr Kerr said the airline remained on track to announce the new regional routes in a few weeks.
*Survey Methodology: An online survey was conducted by Acuity Research & Insights in July 2015 among 900 New Zealand residents nationwide who had made at least one regional flight in the past year, with results indicating that, on average, they had made 3 regional flights in the past year. Participants were relatively evenly split between those who reside in “metro” areas (existing Jetstar destinations: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Queenstown and Dunedin, n=438) versus those who live in “regional” areas (n=462 live elsewhere). Respondents from regional destinations included those living in Hawke’s Bay, Waikato, Manawatu-Wanganui, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Southland, Nelson-Tasman, Northland, Gisborne, Marlborough and the West Coast.
The Jetstar Group is one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing airline brands with one of the most extensive ranges of destinations in the region. It is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. Jetstar branded carriers operate up to 5,000 flights a week to more than 85 destinations. The Jetstar Group carried more than 37 million passengers in financial year 2017.