Jetstar up in the air

Friday 4 June 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Economy, National

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Jetstar up in the air
A Jetstar flight offloads passengers and cargo at Rarotonga International Airport. PHOTO: CI NEWS

Cheaper flights are on offer between Rarotonga and Auckland from October as another airline looks set to re-enter the market.

Jetstar is scheduled to fly between Auckland and Rarotonga from October with one-way flights priced between $169 and $253.

While Jetstar says services to Cook Islands are not possible as this stage given its services to Rarotonga originate in Australia with no bubble for quarantine-free flights - the wheels are in motion for an Auckland/Rarotonga service with flights scheduled to depart Auckland from October 16 and Rarotonga from October 19.

Schedules show the flights will service both destinations about four times a week.

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council president Liana Scott welcomed news Jetstar was taking bookings between the two countries from October.

“It’s a good thing like any competition, not only does it bring another competitor on but it keeps Air New Zealand in check,” said Scott, who is also the general manager of the Muri Beach Club Hotel.

“From a consumer point of view, it is all good stuff, it shows the confidence is there.”

A public notice published in the Cook Islands News by the Transport ministry last month stated an application had been made by Jetstar for a Cook Islands Air Services License to operate scheduled flights to the country, commencing June 2021.

However a Jetstar media spokesman yesterday said services to Cook Islands “are not possible at this stage given our services to Rarotonga originate in Australia and there is currently no bubble for quarantine-free flights between Australia and Cook Islands”.

The spokesman added the airline was looking forward to the Australian government working with Cook Islands and other Pacific island governments for two-way quarantine free travel in the future.

His words were echoed by Cook Islands Tourism Australasia general manager Graeme West at a conference on Rarotonga earlier this week.

West said Australia was now a priority and the target was two to three flights a week between Sydney and Rarotonga.

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