Visitor demand could boost chances of Jetstar service
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says a significant increase in domestic visitors to South Canterbury may help the push for a Jetstar service into Timaru.
The no-frills Qantas subsidiary hasn't included Timaru in its list of seven potential destinations for new flights starting in December.
Mrs Dean, who is also the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism, says if the new routes prove profitable, then Jetstar bosses may look at more possibilities.
"South Canterbury is a destination on the rise with a 20 percent increase in the number of domestic travellers in the past year. With nearly 260,000 guest nights, that's a lot of kiwis making a beeline for the region.
"There is potential for a well-patronised new service. Flexibility in flight options as well as more competitive pricing will encourage more North Islanders to view Timaru as the gateway for their South Island road trip. Being so close to Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook and the many recreational draw cards of the Mackenzie district is a massive selling point.
"With Air New Zealand set to increase the number of available seats on its Timaru to Wellington service by 44% in March, it may be that Jetstar will wait and see what the usage rates are before they look to establish the level of demand for an additional service out of Timaru.
"It's a very positive thing for South Canterbury to dream big and make a play for any opportunities like this. The region is increasingly becoming known for its innovative and ambitious nature and I applaud that."