Jetstar is proposing axing its Q300 turboprop operations in New Zealand effective November 30, 2019.
The turboprops fly between Auckland and Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and between Wellington and Nelson.
The proposed axing only affects the turboprop services, not the domestic Jetstar jet operations which the airline says “it is fully committed to.”
Jetstar New Zealand CEO Gareth Evans said in a statement:
“The New Zealand regional market is facing some headwinds, with softer demand and higher fuel costs and we don’t see the outlook changing anytime soon. As a result, we’re announcing a proposal to end our regional service, with the final flights on 30 November this year.”
But Jetstar New Zealand is a loss making proposition for its parent Qantas Group and a blot on their balance sheet. Closing down the entire Jetstar New Zealand operation has been canvassed by aviation commentators.
Australian Aviation reports that Jetstar New Zealand lost NZD$20 million over the last year running these turboprop flights.
Note the announcement is styled as a proposal, but having released a press statement it looks like the announcement of an exit strategy to Oz Traveller.
The airline is offering refunds to passengers booked on these services after November 30, 2019, owing to “uncertainty.”