Christchurch airport, the main gateway for New Zealand's South Island, is in talks with more international airlines about flying direct to the city.

Reconstruction of the city continues after the devastating earthquake in February 2011 and the airport has been trying to attract more airlines to provide international and domestic services.

Those efforts, however, suffered a blow after low-cost carrier Jetstar said earlier this week that it is cancelling its five times weekly Christchurch-Queenstown service, a move that the airport said was both surprising and disappointing.

"Christchurch airport is acknowledged as the gateway to the South Island, with five times the volume of any other airport in the South Island. That volume, of both people and freight, is sure to increase as the city's rebuild changes up a gear, so we are surprised Jetstar is not positioning to take advantage of that," the airport said in a statement.

"We are working hard to bring the world south, talking to international airlines interested in flying here. The Government's recent relaxing of Air Service Agreements effectively mean Open Skies over Christchurch for the next four years, which is attractive to airlines."

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news