Jetstar launches Auckland-Cairns today

We might be in a global economic crisis, but that doesn’t stop Australian airline Jetstar from launching a new route out of Auckland today.

At 6.30pm tonight, the first Auckland-Cairns flight will take off with introductory fares as low as $129 one way, $100 less than the ‘every day fare’.

The airline will operate three flights per week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. They join Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue on the Cairns-Auckland route.

CEO David Hall says it’s about stimulating the market rather than responding to demand, and he insists they’ll be here for the long haul. The airline, part of the Qantas group, also flies daily between Auckland and Melbourne.

Over the weekend China Southern Airlines’ inaugural flight landed at Auckland from Guangzhou, and is expected to bring in 25,000 visitors per year to New Zealand from the lucrative Chinese market. In 2010 Chinese tourist arrivals increased 20 per cent to 123,000 and each visitor spends, on average, $300 per night – more than European, North American and other Asian tourists.

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