Today, Nelson makes its bid to attract the airline.
Nelson Airport CEO Rob Evans is meeting with Jetstar executives this morning and says Nelson has a strong business case with a large tourism market, plenty of niche businesses and a growing commuter population.
He's optimistic a new player in the market could result in a 30-40 percent discount on airfares for passengers, at least in the short term.
Nelson airport handles 800,000 passengers each year, with 60 in- and out-bound flights every day. The airport's already served by Air New Zealand, Sounds Air and Air 2 There.
Local MP Nick Smith says Nelson's the fastest growing region outside of Auckland.
Rob Evans would like to see Jetstar fly between Nelson and main trunk destinations Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland, ideally up two to three times per day.
He couldn't quantify the economic value of having Jetstar fly to Nelson, but says it would be significant.
Other centres vying for Jetstar services are Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North and Invercargill.
Jetstar has indicated it will make its decision in September, with the first flights to begin operation on December 1.
Thursday 25 Jun 2015 10:27 a.m