While Aussie budget airline Jetstar has had a "horror start" to its New Zealand operations, its arrival will put added pressure on the incumbent local carriers.
Jetstar has already re-jigged its schedules, after finding its original turnarounds were a little too tight, leaving passengers on the tarmac and creating flight delays. The airline replaces the old full-service flights provided by Qantas, servicing Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown.
The cuts follow similar capacity cutbacks by Air New Zealand, in response to a drop in passengers.
The national carrier flew almost 10% fewer passengers last month compared to May last year. Air NZ is aiming to keep load factors and profitability up by capacity cuts, with further reviews of its regional airlines currently underway.
Pacific Blue is axing its single daily service between Dunedin and Christchurch (return), but replacing it with a new direct Dunedin-Auckland service.
However there will also be a drop in the number of services between Auckland and Wellington (cut from 27 to 19 a week), and Wellington-Christchurch (cut from 19 to 12 flights a week). Pacific Blue will also drop some trans-tasman flights from Christchurch and Auckland from September.
* NZ Herald: Pacific Blue cuts back
Posted at 10:36 pm