Jetstar has launched a fresh assault in its battle with Air New Zealand in the local Kiwi market by allowing passengers on its domestic New Zealand services to earn Qantas frequent flyer points on all fare types.
The move is effective immediately, allowing members of Qantas Frequent Flyer to earn a minimum of 400 points on a Jetstar NZ domestic flight.
Previously, members of Qantas Frequent Flyer had to pay for a “Plus” or “Max” bundle on top of the base fare to earn points on Jetstar NZ flights.
Qantas Loyalty chief executive Lesley Grant noted NZ had the highest number of Qantas frequent flyer members outside Australia.
“We want to expand the offering to these loyal customers as well as attract new ones,” Grant said in a statement on Thursday.
Qantas said the initiative would only apply to Jetstar’s domestic NZ flights and not the rest of the low-cost carrier’s network, noting that Jetstar was “one of only two domestic airlines in the country and has a significant share of the New Zealand business market”.
“We play a unique role in New Zealand’s aviation market as the only real competition to the national carrier in the domestic market,” Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka said.
“This initiative will allow us to improve our offering to New Zealanders and to continue to provide genuine competition.”
The points initiative is on top of Jetstar’s announcement on June 18 that it planned to start flights to regional destinations using Bombardier Q300 turboprops from December. Routes and destinations were yet to be confirmed, with Jetstar officials currently on a tour of regional destinations.
Qantaslink’s Eastern Airlines Australia will operate and manage the Q300 fleet in NZ.
Jetstar’s move into regional cities caused Air NZ’s share price to fall 25 cents, or 9.4 per cent, to NZ$2.40 on the day of the announcement as analysts expressed concerns about the potential impact to the airline’s bottom line.
However the NZ flag carrier’s share price has since recovered some of those losses. The stock was at NZ$2.57 in morning trade on the NZ stock exchange on Thursday.
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