'There's a lot of risk': Jetstar's new domestic routes will have a hard time taking off - commentator

One News 

A leading aviation commentator is sceptical demands for Jetstar's new domestic routes will take off.

Price war breaks out as Jetstar takes on Air NZ at home

Consumers are the big winners in Jetstar's NZ domestic expansion. Source: ONE News

Today Jetstar announced you can fly return to Auckland from Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth and Palmerston North plus a return route between Nelson and Wellington.

But aviation commentator Peter Clarke says the flights to Auckland and Wellington do little to connect between the regions.

"I think there is a lot of risk in New Zealand. In regional New Zealand there's a downturn. It's quite severe in some of the rural areas. Air New Zealand's pulled out of some areas".

But the government welcomes Jetstar's new flight routes.

"It fits in with the promotion of tourism, economic development and moving people into the regions", says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

Air New Zealand is offering rock-bottom domestic fares hot on the heels of Jetstar's announcement of the four new domestic routes.

The national carrier was offering the $9 one-way fares on 22 different flight routes across the country on grabaseat website today.

Earlier today Hamilton's mayor said people living in the Waikato would be upset Hamilton was not named in Jetstar's domestic destination announcement.

Julie Hardaker said she was very disappointed by the decision and she would continue fighting for Jetstar to include Hamilton as a destination.

"We will keep working with Jetstar to get them here, as competition in the domestic market is essential for fare pricing and flexibility of travel options," Ms Hardaker said.

Ms Hardaker said she believes being situated rather close to Auckland Airport and having an easier route network were factors in why Hamilton was not chosen.