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First repainted Q300 turboprop for Jetstar NZ emerges from paintshop

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 12, 2015

Former QantasLink Q300 VH-TQM repainted in Jetstar colours in Townsville. (Jetstar)
QantasLink Q300 VH-TQM repainted in Jetstar colours in Townsville. (Jetstar)

Jetstar has repainted the first of five turboprops that will be used on regional New Zealand routes.

On Wednesday, the airline released photos of Q300 VH-TQM, which has been repainted into Jetstar livery at the Flying Colours Aviation paintshop in Townsville.

In addition to the new look, with the former QantasLink turboprop will also have an “interior refresh to match the Jetstar onboard product”, the airline said in a statement.

After it was repainted, VH-TQM was ferried from Townsville to Cairns on August 12, according to flight tracking website Flightaware.

Jetstar representatives recently completed a tour of regional New Zealand to consider where the turboprops would fly to and Jetstar New Zealand head Grant Kerr said the first four regional routes would be announced in a few weeks.


The airline, which launched plans to fly on regional routes in June, has said previously cities and towns such as Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Nelson and Invercargill were in the mix.

“We’ve had a very positive response to our June announcement and the feedback we’ve received on our regional visits has been equally supportive,” Kerr said in a statement.

The turboprops will be operated by Eastern Australia Airlines for Jetstar.

Flying Colours said on its website the repainting of the aircraft took 11 days to complete.

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Comments (16)

  • Dave


    Wonder how these things will go for range with the ferry flight across the ditch

  • adammudhen


    Air NZ could do with some regional competition, I’m expecting if the launch goes well, they’ll look to move more aircraft over in future.

    Off topic a little bit, but remember the days when LCCs were single-type fleets? A320, A330, 787 and now Q400s. Quite a mix. (Yes, I know, the A330s are on their way back to QF).

  • NJP


    So should it really be called “turboprop-star”?

  • Trash Hauler


    They forgot to change the livery to PropStar!

  • John


    Ah TQM….. Spent my fair share of time in that plane. I liked it better in qlink colours.

  • Mac Carter


    New colour scheme looks great.
    Well done.

  • Damian


    adammudhen you forgot to mention A321! Ps also Q300 rather than Q400 but know what you mean. (:

  • Johnny


    A320, A320NEO, A321, A321NEO, A330, B787 and Q300.

    As someone previously stated, there is definitely scope in NZ for this to do very well. In that case, they might end up with some Q400s for WN – NV or CH – PM/NP/NR/RO type routes.

    Will be very interesting to see what ends up happening with Jetstar Regional, Kiwi Regional Airlines, OriginAir, Sounds Air, Air2there and Barrier Air, as they all battle for the departing Eagle routes. I wonder who will be left standing in a few years time.

    It seems like Origin is taking on SoundsAir with NS-WN. It seems like Sounds Air are taking on Air2there with PP-BN/NS routes. And I am not really sure what KRA is doing with the HN-NS-QN-DN route. Managing to miss all major cities (AKL/WLG/CHC) but I guess that is potentially where the market is.

    Air2there’s fleet is slowly disolving, as is Barrier Air (despite the recent addition of a C208B).

  • Tyron


    Air NZ has just dropped its lead in fares on my regional routes by 10-30% … Thanks Jetstar, Hope you’ll be flying to Southland soon, Invercargill is the most ideal alternate for Queenstown and will save you from those horrible stories of pax bussing 30 hours to their destinations!



    For the comment about the range accross the ditch. Do you think they would have not thought about this before. Guess what ? two words, “Aux Tanks”

  • Hanns


    Jetstar is a huge brand that flyes all over Asia with more than 100 aircraft so I dont think they are in anyway cash strapped.Qantas Link has been operating the Q300 for many,many years and has a vast amount of experiance,spares and data gathered on this aircraft type to come in and operate . The Q300 has been the back bone of Australian Regional for many years. and proved very successful.The Q400 is far more fuel efficiant than the French/Itallian sky Fiat (ATR) and the new high density Q400 has some 86 to 88 seats,combined with a reduced power lever setting is some 17 % to 18 % more fuel efficiant than the French/Itallian sky Fiat while still cruzing sligtly faster to.
    Air NZ made a huge mistake buying Sky Fiats (ATR). and not the Q400. The beast has enough power to climb to 29000 ft if drop down oxygen is installed,Climbing out of possible bad weather and does so in a few minutes, with some 5500 shp per engine about as powerful as both engines on the Sky Fiat ATR 500/600The other advantage over the ATR is the Q400 speed can be increased to catch up with the sched or slowed down to save fuel ,where as the ATR has no flexability and is not able to do this. The power lever in the notch and props to auto give you the rated power of that day ,bad luck if you have a wopping big head wind .
    The extra power flexability of the Q400 does come with fuel penalties but ,hey airlines are all about “On time performance “these days. Yes profits to, but the Q400 has another advantage.It has a huge cargo area if turned into a “Combi” that can earn $$$$$ filled with cargo and still carry 50 passangers.
    Just think of all the fish that could be flown from Nelson to Aukland .
    I am sorry to say but the Q400 is far more superior than the Sky FiaT (ATR 500/600) ,in so many ways.Most airlines choose a fleet type on its flexability and not just one thing ” fuel flow’
    Air NZ will crack under the pressure of the mighty Q400 and they will be in NZ sooner than what we all think.
    Viva Jetstar

  • Aden O'keefe-Buckton


    It’s good to see a Jet Star aircraft smaller than an A320. I miss the Jet Star Boeing 717-200s. Hopefully Jet Star will start regional service in Australia too.

  • Tony



    All bar mabye 1 or 2 of the Q300’s don’t have AUX Tanks.

    They’ll go via Norfolk or direct to AKL if the winds are favourable. It’ll also require favourable weather at Norfolk to allow them to continue past their Point of no Return (PNR).

    All factored in doubt.

    Worst case, they can install ferry tanks but that can be expensive and time consuming.

  • Rick J


    Along with VH-TQM, does anyone know which other four Q300’s will be in JetStar colours for NZ? Eastern have a total of 16 in their fleet.

  • Marc


    Ferry flights are done from either SYD/BNE via Lord Howe and/or Norfolk Island to AKL. For safety reasons both islands are generally used, although Norfolk can be reached. with no payload.

  • Doug Bell


    I only hope that with the JQ aircraft flying that realistic schedules can be matched with inbound cross Tasman international traffic, esp into WGN AND ChCH, having to skip on2 ANZ for trips to Qtown and Invercargill suck. Just side not I used to be able return to Dubbo/Armidale out of Wellington on the PM WGN/Syd Flight and also the pm ChCH Syd b4 Emirates took over the route. , but nowadays the 737-800 sits in WGN for 1.35 mins between scheduled landing and outbound, yet in the mornings manages a 60 minute turn a round. QANTAS Are you listening, thinking about the opposition the next time I have to take either or trips. 0615 out of Wello and reducing the pm change over to 70 minutes would allow me to get back into Sydney with enough time to catch the 1900 outbound Sydney/Dubbo/ Tamworth or Armidale flights. Also the Auckland Sydney pairing needs to be looked at as there is a huge whole in the schedule at present. after 8.30 am until 2.40.

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