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Jetstar halts Raro flights for three months

Wednesday 2 March 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National


Jetstar halts Raro flights for three months

Jetstar has cancelled all flights on its trans-Tasman and Rarotonga routes for the next three months.

The budget airline, owned by Qantas, informed travellers of the suspension of flights on its website on Saturday without providing an explanation.

It will continue to fly internally in Australia and New Zealand.

Jetstar emailed passengers booked on the cancelled flights with an apology, offering the choice of a refund or credit voucher, or the option to rebook for a flight from June onwards.

As an alternative, those affected can book replacement flights on Qantas between Auckland and Sydney at a discounted price.

A spokesman for Jetstar said that “given the travel restrictions between New Zealand and Australia, we did a review of our schedule for trans-Tasman flights” but did not provide a reason for the cancellations.

“We are monitoring New Zealand’s phased opening roadmap and will advise customers if there’s any changes to our planned schedule.”

In August 2021 the airline cancelled Rarotonga flights through to the end of March, 2022, again provided customers a range of options including a credit voucher or a full refund.

The airline made the announcement less than a month after canning flight bookings between Auckland and Rarotonga in July 2021 due to the Covid-19 community outbreak in Australia.

Jetstar which operates into the Cook Islands as an Australian carrier requires the Cook Islands-Australian travel bubble in order to resume its Rarotonga-Auckland services.

A Jetstar spokesperson at the time said services to Rarotonga would remain suspended until March 28, 2022. 

Customers booked on Jetstar flights to Rarotonga between October 2021 and March 28, 2022 were then contacted with a range of options including a credit voucher or a full refund for their cancelled flight, the airline said at the time.

The airline had intended to resume the route in late March 2022 “if not earlier”. 

Jetstar customers who opted for a refund of their Jetstar fare and still wished to travel to Rarotonga, were offered Air New Zealand flights, subject to availability with a fare will be provided to them at the time of rebooking their travel.

The airline had been scheduled to fly between Auckland and Rarotonga from October with one-way flights priced between $169 and $253.

Tickets went on sale in early June but the airline announced on July 1 that it was not possible to fly due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns.

At the time a spokesman said the company had been hopeful that services to Cook Islands would be possible from October through quarantine-free travel between Australia, New Zealand and Cook Islands.

However, Jetstar services to Rarotonga originated in Australia so were not part of the NZ/Cook Islands bubble.

  • Additional reporting by Liz McDonald of Stuff