Jetstar’s new flight destinations in New Zealand have sparked a price war.
Qantas’ budget subsidiary on Monday announced it’s adding flights to Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson.
All the destinations will connect with Auckland, with one route between Nelson and Wellington.
Jetstar launched the flights, starting from December and February, with discounted $NZ9 ($A8.14) fares, which caused its website to crash under the heavy demand.
Air NZ followed suit offering $NZ9 national fares on “grabaseat”.
The national airline has said it won’t be undercut in its home market.
Last Wednesday, it said it would offer up to two million domestic fares under $NZ100 and boost domestic capacity eight per cent this year.
“We are confident of our ability to stimulate the economy to fill those seats,” chief executive Christopher Luxon said.
“We don’t lose to Australians at home.”
Jetstar says its regional expansion will create 100 jobs for pilots, cabin crew and ground crew.
“We believe the routes we’ve announced today offer the strongest opportunities to grow the market and make a real difference to local economies and locals’ wallets,” Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall said.
The move is backed by the regions, the NZ government and Tourism Industry Association, which say it will boost regional economies and increase tourism.
The airline has a 17 per cent share of the New Zealand domestic airline market, which is dominated by Air NZ.
Jetstar currently flies Airbus A320 jets to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.
It will use five 50-seat Bombardier Q300 turboprops on the new routes, charging $NZ45-$NZ49 base fares.
Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce has said typically fares dropped 40 per cent when Jetstar began flying New Zealand’s main trunk routes.
JETSTAR’S NEW ROUTES
From December 1:
From February 1:
* New Plymouth-Auckland
* Palmerston North-Auckland