Jetstar releases New Zealand flights
JETSTAR Australia is listing flights between the Gold Coast and New Zealand tourism hotspot Queenstown from August 16 lifting trans-Tasman travel bubble hopes.
The airline has listed dozens of flights on its website - earlier on Wednesday they included multiple return flights from August 1 to August 15 but those have since been removed.
However, flights from the Gold Coast starting from $228 with return fees as low as $253 still remain listed from August 16. Some flights in the now removed bunch had already been listed as "sold out".
A Jetstar Australia spokesman said the company had been doing monthly reviews of services - and confirmed the August 1-15 return flights were now delisted. But from August 16 they remained.
"As soon as we cancel a flight, we contact customers via email and offer them a range of options. The email they receive informing them of their cancellation explains the process and steps to follow online to apply for a credit voucher or alternative options, which depending on the circumstances include an alternative flight at no additional charge, or a refund," the spokesman said.
Queensland Airports Limited CEO Chris Mills said: "Opening up trans-Tasman travel is an important step in the national tourism recovery plan".
"The ongoing discussions between the Australian and New Zealand governments about re-starting this market are encouraging," he told the Bulletin.
"The Gold Coast is one of the most popular destinations for New Zealand travellers and we are looking forward to welcoming Kiwis back to our region, to enjoy all the Gold Coast and Northern NSW has to offer and for long-overdue reunions with family and friends.
"We are in close contact with our airline partners on an ongoing basis about increased capacity and re-establishing routes."
There were hopes this week airports across Australia would be able to fly to New Zealand as part of a COVID-19 "trans-Tasman bubble".
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday the decision would come down to the Australian Government, though New Zealand would not allow travel to anywhere with community transmission.
But it has since been scrapped due to the outbreak of coronavirus cases in Victoria.
Last year 1.4 million New Zealanders visited Australia, contributing $2.6 billion in to city's visitor economy in overnight spending.
This group was the Gold Coast's second highest source market overall and our second top holiday source market, with 212,000 New Zealand visitors coming to the city last year, staying 1.473 million nights.