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Jetstar cancels Cook Islands flights

Monday 5 July 2021 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National

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Jetstar cancels Cook Islands flights
A Jetstar flight offloads passengers and cargo at Rarotonga International Airport. PHOTO: CI NEWS

Jetstar has canned flight bookings between Auckland and Rarotonga less than a month after offering discounted travel between the destinations.

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 Thursday that it was now not possible to fly due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns.

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.

“Unfortunately, services to Rarotonga, which originate in Australia may no longer be feasible at that time.”

As a result, the airline is reviewing its planned flights to Rarotonga until the end of the year.

The airline would “reach out directly to customers with impacted bookings with a range of alternative options”, he said.

“We look forward to the Australian government working with the Cook Islands and other Pacific island governments for two-way quarantine free travel in the future.” 

Jetstar’s services to Rarotonga originate in Australia so are not part of the New Zealand/Cook Islands bubble.

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

Cook Islands Tourism Industry Council president Liana Scott then 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,” Scott said last month. “From a consumer point of view, it is all good stuff, it shows the confidence is there.”