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Wellington Airport welcomes Jetstar to the region

17 Feb 2009

Wellington Airport welcomes the announcement today by Jetstar to launch domestic services out of Wellington.

Jetstar will operate 3 daily return services between Wellington and Auckland and Wellington and 1 daily Christchurch service starting June 2009.

Wellington Airport CEO, Steven Fitzgerald, said “This is great news for travellers to Wellington, Wellingtonians and the Wellington region.”

“Jetstar is a low fares airline and we expect that its vigrous competition on the key trunk routes will ensure the availability of very attractive fares.  This will provide very important stimulation of demand in a general economic downturn.”

This announcement represents an increase in Qantas Group capacity for Wellington despite the withdrawal of the ‘Flying Kangaroo’ from the domestic market.  Jetstar’s vibrant brand and growth-oriented strategy is a very positive signal for the future.

“We hope that Jetstar’s operations will eventually extend beyond the main trunk to other parts of the country as well as trans-Tasman flights to and from Wellington,” said Mr Fitzgerald. Jetstar currently operates a number of Trans-Tasman services out of Christchurch Airport and some starting from Auckland in April 2009.

Wellington Airport notes that Jetstar’s access to long-haul aircraft provides opportunities for expansion to direct long haul services in future.

Qantas has also announced that it will be acquiring brand-new 737-800 aircraft for its Jetconnect New Zealand subsidiary. Jetconnect will continue to serve Sydney and Melbourne from Wellington using the full-service Qantas brand. This increase to 168 seat aircraft (12 business and 156 economy seats) will materially increase seat capacity on these routes when the new aircraft are introduced.
Unfortunately, Qantas will discontinue its 2 weekly Brisbane services. The Wellington to Brisbane route has seen explosive growth in capacity over recent months with Pacific Blue increasing from 3 to 8 services weekly. Brisbane will continue to be served by both Pacific Blue and Air New Zealand.

Wellington Airport’s continued investment in quality airport infrastructure has been vital in enabling the entry of new carriers to the Wellington market.  This competition between airlines ensures that visitors and Wellingtonians are offered the competitive air fares that are crucial to tourism, business and the Wellington lifestyle. “We are committed to continuing to play a key role in attracting new airlines to Wellington,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Issued by:    Wellington International Airport Limited
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