OPINION: It’s been announced New Plymouth Airport’s small 400m2 terminal building is seeing 1550 passengers through its doors every week increasing Jetstar’s stronghold on New Plymouth Airport from 14% of the aviation market to 21%.
Jetstar and Originair services combined are helping New Plymouth Airport increase passenger numbers by over 80,000 every year, statistics have revealed.
In September 2018, Originair announced new direct services between New Plymouth and Napier would commence connecting onto already busy direct Nelson and New Plymouth flights.
Prior to Jetstar commencing air-services the national carrier Air New Zealand had a 99% market share on the Taranaki air market. Competition has since seen that decrease to 79% in just three years, less than the 91% market share held in the low cost carriers first two years.
Pricing continues to become more and more competitive with Air New Zealand’s 300,000 yearly passengers in and out of New Plymouth seeing their airfares fall by more than 20% since Jetstar started services.
Jetstar has also seen more than half of its passengers travel for less than $70 a seat on the New Plymouth to Auckland route; a shock contrast to Air New Zealand where the majority of its passengers pay over $100 per seat.
The increase in Jetstar’s market share comes as Air New Zealand increased airfares in 2018 resulting in more of the market searching high and low for better priced airfares.
As Jetstar took a hit to Air New Zealand on their direct services to Auckland, Originair threw a second blow by launching direct services to Napier and Nelson - some of Air New Zealand’s biggest profit makers out of New Plymouth Airport.
Prior to Originair, passengers travelling on Air New Zealand could seamlessly connect onto services to regional locations from their direct flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington.
Statistics show that the national carrier has lost out completely with its market share on Napier and Nelson connecting passengers dropping to barely noticeable levels out of New Plymouth. Jetstar market share on the connecting sectors to Queenstown, Dunedin and Palmerston North have also surpassed Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand will have no reason to see the statistics in bad light however as they still hold strongholds on their direct services to Auckland, Wellington (over 95% market share) and Christchurch (over 95% market share).
2019 is set to be an interesting year ahead for New Plymouth Airport with its new terminal building launching. Additionally, news of Qantas Link sending more aircraft New Zealand’s way could allow the low cost carrier to bite into the market share on Air New Zealand’s direct Wellington route.