Jetstar is launching two new trans-Tasman routes and boosting capacity on some of its domestic routes, it announced today.

The airline will launch new flights between Christchurch and Cairns, and Auckland and the Sunshine Coast (Maroochydore).

The airline said adding an eighth Airbus A320 aircraft to the New Zealand fleet would add 240,000 additional seats each year.

It said it will increase capacity on key domestic routes, starting with Christchurch to Auckland and Auckland to Wellington. It also planned to further grow its New Zealand domestic operations in the next 12 months.

Over the past six months, Jetstar said its cancellations have “dropped to around 1% or less and on average,” and said more than 80% of flights have arrived on time so far this year.

Jetstar Group chief executive Stephanie Tully said the announcement marked the “biggest boost to Jetstar’s operations in New Zealand in more than a decade”.

“Over the past 15 years, we’ve helped make travel more accessible for millions of New Zealanders and this expansion will help to unlock hundreds of thousands of low fares and more choice for our customers and provide a significant boost to tourism on both sides of the Tasman,” she said.

Queensland Tourism Minister and State Member for Cairns, Michael Healy said he was excited to see yet another international service booked for Cairns with a three-year commitment by Jetstar for three weekly services from Christchurch to Cairns, starting in April 2025. 

“Sunshine Coast Airport will also benefit from three weekly Jetstar services arriving from Auckland starting in December 2024,” he said.

Christchurch Airport chief executive Justin Watson said bolstering services and travel options in and out of Christchurch Airport was a “huge vote of confidence in our city”.

“More seats across the Tasman offers better choice and a direct connection with Cairns opens up a seamless two-way link to the fantastic opportunities in the South Island and in Tropical North Queensland.”