JetStar announced yesterday that they will fly to four smaller towns in New Zealand: Palmerston North, Napier, New Plymouth and Nelson. They will be 50-seater planes. Three other towns were on the short list but missed out. There were Invercargill, Rotorua, and Hamilton. The mayors of these towns are disappointed.
On the other hand, the mayors of the four towns chosen are very happy. They believe that another airline will bring cheaper fares, more tourists and more business. Yesterday JetStar said the price for two of these routes will be $45 and the others will be $49 one way. AirNZ already flies to these towns but their air fares are usually very expensive. AirNZ will need to offer the same price.
Last week, AirNZ showed that the company has made a good profit. This is on all their routes: long haul (for example to Japan), across the Tasman to Australia, to the Pacific Islands, the main domestic routes in New Zealand and smaller regional routes. However, the company recently stopped flying to smaller towns like Kaitaia, Whakatane, Taupo and Westport.
JetStar is owned by Australia’s airline, Qantas. It is possible that Qantas is planning to compete with AirNZ on the Pacific route to Los Angeles in the future.
• haul – carry; long haul is airline language
• chosen – past participle of choose; (note: the words “which were” are left out – ‘the four towns which were chosen”; passive)
• domestic – national routes, in New Zealand only
• compete (v), competition (n) – like a race