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
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
“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.”