Jetstar to replace Qantas on NZ domestic routes

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Qantas Airways' low-cost carrier Jetstar is replacing it on New Zealand domestic routes as of 10 June.

Jetstar says Qantas' last New Zealand domestic flights will be on 9 June and the following day it will launch a five-times-daily Auckland-Christchurch, twice-daily Auckland-Wellington, daily Auckland-Queenstown and daily Christchurch-Queenstown service.

It also says on 24 June it will launch a daily Christchurch-Wellington service and add an additional daily service on the Auckland-Christchurch and Auckland-Wellington routes.

Jetstar says it will have three Airbus A320s stationed in New Zealand to serve the five domestic routes. The airline's CEO, Bruce Buchanan, says this will create 250 jobs.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says in a separate statement that its withdrawal means some Qantas employees in Christchurch and, to a lesser extent, Wellington will lose their jobs.

But Joyce says some Qantas employees will be offered jobs at Jetstar.

Australia's Qantas has been serving the New Zealand domestic market under subsidiary Jetconnect, which operates Boeing 737-300s.

Joyce says Jetconnect will now operate on trans-Tasman routes between New Zealand and Australia and Jetconnect will steadily add 737-800s to replace its -300s.

He also says on 10 June Qantas will be increasing its Melbourne-Auckland service to thrice-daily from daily and increasing its Sydney-Auckland service to five-times-daily from four-times-daily.

But it will be cancelling its weekend services on the Brisbane-Wellington route, it says.