Jetstar will start flying to the Cook Islands for the first time next year.
The low-cost carrier has announced plans to launch a new year-round service between Auckland and Rarotonga from 22 March 2016. Flights will operate three times a week, continuing onwards between Auckland and either Sydney or Melbourne, offering connections for Australian travellers.
“We’re very excited to announce our first direct service from New Zealand to the beautiful South Pacific,” said Jetstar’s head of New Zealand, Grant Kerr. “The Cook Islands is a favourite destination for many New Zealanders and we’re confident our low fares to Rarotonga will be warmly welcomed by holidaymakers throughout the country.
“We expect our new flights to Rarotonga will significantly lift passenger numbers from both New Zealand and Australia, delivering substantial benefits to Cook Islands tourism,” he added.
The Jetstar flights will add around 25,000 new return seats a year to the Auckland-Rarotonga route, representing capacity growth of more than 15% to the Cook Islands from New Zealand.
Jetstar will be the first new airline in more than 10 years to connect Auckland and Rarotonga.