Growing competition on the trans-Tasman route

Jetstar.

Jetstar is set to expand its trans-Tasman services.

(Source: AFP Photo)

With a number of budget airlines flocking into the lucrative trans-Tasman route, Virgin Blue offshoot Pacific Blue has begun flights on the Auckland-Sydney route today. 

Pacific Blue has also announced a jump in capacity on the Tasman in July, providing daily services from Auckland to Melbourne and nine weekly flights from Auckland to Sydney.

The company’s CEO Brett Godfrey said its successful move prompted competitors to significantly drop their lead-in fares on the routes.

“Pacific Blue’s combination of a modern fleet, high quality service and affordable fares has struck a chord with New Zealanders. We’re very happy with the support Kiwis have shown us as we’ve introduced real competition into the domestic market,” Mr Godfrey said.

Qantas’ budget subsidiary Jetstar is set to join the Tasman queue, with its plan to introduce flights between Sydney and Auckland from 28 April 2009.

While the increasing competition in the trans-Tasman services is being questioned due to the New Zealand’s recession and the global economic meltdown, Jetstar said that demand for low fares would increase in financially challenging times.

Jetstar, which has been operating services to Christchurch for three years, said its New Zealand services had been successful and the added capacity was to grasp a further opportunity to grow in the Asia-Pacific region.

The carrier’s extended services include the Gold Coast-Auckland route.

The trans-Tasman air route is one of the most important and profitable international airfreight routes for airlines.

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