Govt must make most of Jetstar competition

Government agencies should pledge to always buy “the best fare of the day” to maximise competition between Jetstar and Air New Zealand and ensure savings for taxpayers while boosting services to regional New Zealand, Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Phil Twyford says.

 “Our heartland towns have a lot to gain from Jetstar’s new services announced today and the Government could do its bit by pledging the tens of millions of dollars it spends annually really do go to the airline offering the best price.

"There has been limited competition on domestic routes for far too long which has handed Air New Zealand the lion’s share of the Government’s spend. Jetstar’s plans to step up with extra services is a great opportunity to make the most of the competition, and use that pressure to drive fares down for all New Zealanders. 

"The regions have put up with exorbitant fares, and cuts to some regional routes.  Air New Zealand's announcement last week of extra flights and discounted fares, in anticipation of today's Jetstar announcement, shows just how much the country has to gain from this move. Most government agencies have a best fare of the day policy but the reality is it's been the exception rather than the rule.

“Good transport links are vital to economic development so an airline announcing four new regional destinations and five new routes is good news for all. 

“I challenge the Government to make the most of it – starting with a plan for public servants to always buy the best fare on the day,” Phil Twyford says.