Regions are Calling out for Jetstar Despite "Teething Problems"

12th Apr 2016

Talking about Jetstar's first year operating routes in New Zealand, Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Jetstar's parent airline, put any problems the regional carrier had basically to it making its first steps. Despite these "teething problems", however, Joyce said regions are very keen on welcoming Jetstar.

Joyce believes the initial problems at Jetstar, some of which have caused flight delays and cancelations, will be sorted out as staff gains more experience and air and ground processes are improved.

"You've got new pilots, new cabin crew, new airports, new ground handlers"

Jetstar's first year flying to Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth and Palmerston North hasn't been as smooth as everyone hoped for. In the first week, up to 70 per cent of its flights on these routes were delayed for 10 minutes or longer and last month, the carrier had to cancel 10 out of 100 flights during weekends because two or its pilots called in sick.

However, Joyce remains positive and says the business case was "well ahead of expectations". He said:

"We couldn't be more pleased with how our operation here in New Zealand is going. All airlines had customer service problems on occasion. But to say they're unique to Jetstar I think is misinforming the public. It'll happen with Air New Zealand, it'll happen with Qantas. It's what you do to learn and improve from it."

Joyce also added that, once the initial problems are dealt with, Jetstar is likely to consider further growth options, but didn't say when this could happen.

"When we see the opportunity is right for potential growth we'll take that. More regions are calling out for Jetstar services so when the time is right we'll be approaching them again. I'm not going to put a time frame on it but I'm very happy with the performance of the New Zealand regional operation."

The low-cost carrier picked Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth and Palmerston North from possible seven routes in New Zealand that also included Hamilton, Rotorua and Invercargill and has opted to use a fleet of five Bombardier Q300 turbo-prop jets with a 50-seat capacity each for those destinations.