International travellers have been snapping up the low fares on offer on the Tasman route in greater numbers than ever before, creating a strong tourism shoulder season in the South Island region.
May passenger figures released this week show an 11% increase in passenger movements on the Christchurch Tasman route compared with the same period last year.
Celebrating six months since the airline entered the New Zealand market, Jetstar CEO Alan Joyce said the low fares carrier has made a big impact.
“Travellers have been flocking to take advantage of our readily available low fares, particularly with regards to our latest two for one sale which proved to be our most successful to date. Christchurch is our first expansion into international routes, and with encouraging load factors so far, we’re particularly happy with our choice of destination,” he said.
“The low cost airline model, based in Christchurch, is great for South Island businesses and opens up travel options for a greater number of people,” said Christchurch International Airport CEO Rene Bakx. “As well as the 12,500 New Zealanders travelling on low cost carriers to Australia each month, an average of 13,400 international visitors use the low cost services on the Tasman route to Christchurch, feeding a significant proportion of South Island tourism”.
Pacific Blue airlines NZ Manager, Jo Wedlock, agrees. “The entire Pacific Blue model is geared around stimulating a new market of people to travel by the introduction of low fares. We’re not interested in simply moving market share around between airlines. We want people who have never flown before to think ‘wow, at that price I’m going to take a holiday’. It’s about growing the market overall, and that obviously has a direct flow on effect to boost tourism, the business economy and overall money into the South Island”.