Jetstar introduced its new flight destinations today after running a Facebook-based campaign where it uploaded videos of its regional tour and asked its Facebook fans for advice on which activities to partake in in each destination.
In a clip uploaded to its Facebook page today, Jetstar makes light of the fact that unfortunately only three out of four of its new flight destinations start with the letter ‘n’. So instead of finding another New Zealand town or city starting with the letter, it has adjusted Palmerston North to North Palmerston. Ahhh that’s better.
The clip, which is a fictionalised version of the airline's announcement of the new routes, also features a couple of 'North Palmerstonians' who don’t seem phased about their city’s name alteration, but are merely pleased to be included.
In the lead up to the announcement, Jetstar ran its ‘Jetstar on Tour’ campaign where it travelled to different New Zealand destinations, including the four it’s decided to permanently fly to.
Each clip showcases the best the New Zealand towns or cities have to offer, like cuisine, museums and other tourist attractions. Each of the places Jetstar checked out in each town or city was recommended by one of its Facebook fans.
The campaign is somewhat reminiscent to Chorus’s ‘Gigatown’ competition campaign, where the company interacted with the inhabitants of various New Zealand cities and towns through social media to promote its roll out of ultra-fast broadband. The campaign was a huge success, scooping up the Supreme Award at this year's TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards last week.
After a big week of traveling we headed to Invercargill and what an amazing trip it was! The recommendations, the people and the places were all fantastic. Who’s been here before? #JetstarOnTour #EverydayLowFaresPosted by Jetstar NZ on Tuesday, 4 August 2015
The airline also visited Rotorua, Invercargill and Hamilton.
"This was definitely about getting out to the regions and speaking to them about the strengths in terms of flying there," Jetstar corporate communications manager Phil Boeyen says. "We had to choose four destinations and we chose a number of regions that we thought would make sense for our initial launch and then just needed to go and talk to people a little bit more closely about it."
He says the videos Jetstar posted online had a really good response from people. "And it was a great way to highlight regional New Zealand and getting the Facebook people to suggest places within their region that we should go and have a look at. All worked well, we got lots of positive comments not just from people in those regions but also from people who had never travelled to those regions."
Social media was the perfect platform, he says. "It really enabled some personal contact with the people and a dialogue and the fact that we made the videos based on the feedback we received we were able to put into the videos suggestions by a certain person and that personalised the videos ... And I’m sure they’re places we wouldn’t have uncovered if people hadn’t have suggested them."
He says Jetstar wants to grow the market. "Whenever we launch our low fares we like to stimulate travel ... Before maybe they could go twice a year and maybe now can afford to go twice a year or four times a year. Hawkes Bay for example seems to have a relatively untapped tourism market and that one stood out to us as a place where we could grow the market, get more people travelling to Hawkes Bay and the people wanting to travel more often to Auckland but not being able to do so because price was preventing that travel."
After launching today and releasing $9 flights from the destinations Boeyen says Jetstar has sold over 15,000 of the flights today alone. "And by tomorrow we would have sold 20,000. So [there's] real excitement in regional New Zealand ... "
A Jetstar release says the extension of its service to regional areas will mean more convenience for business, visiting friends and family or simply exploring more places for less.
“Increased demand for low-cost domestic travel in New Zealand meant we had the opportunity to review our offering,” head of Jetstar New Zealand Grant Kerr says.
“We considered a number of different regions and received great support and enthusiasm from them all. In the end, our initial new destination choices have come down to the cities that offered the strongest opportunities to grow the market.”
We’re introducing flights to NZ’s largest towns starting with N - Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth & North Palmerston #JetstargoesRegional— JetstarNZ (@Jetstar_NZ) August 30, 2015
Jetstar has also been posting images of the places it's been visiting on its Instagram page.
“We know that locals in Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth and Palmerston North will benefit from increased local tourism and business travel, whether from Kiwis or visitors to New Zealand. The fact that the new destinations all (kind of) start with ‘n’ is a happy coincidence.”
To help Kiwis benefit from low cost travel, Jetstar will be introducing the new Jetstar Price Radar tool to help travellers find the fare they’re looking for, even when they’re not looking he says.
“We know that constantly checking to find low cost fares can be very time consuming and we’ve worked on a way to take the pain away,” says Kerr.
“Now all you need to do is head to Jetstar.com, find the ‘Jetstar Price Radar’ button, say where you are, where and roughly when you want to go, and how much you want to spend. Then Jetstar Price Radar gets to work, by giving you a weekly update on the fare and notifying you when the fare drops, and that’s it. It’s simple.”
There will be direct flights between Auckland and Nelson and Auckland and Napier from December 1 this year. Flights between Auckland and New Plymouth, Auckland and Palmerston North and Wellington and Nelson will start from February 1 next year.
Flights will be operated by Eastern Australia Airlines for Jetstar Airways and are subject to Government and Regulatory approval.
The Jetstar Price Radar tool will be available on Jetstar.com on September 4 this week.
Jetstar currently flies to 60 destinations in 16 countries and territories. In nearly eight years of operation, Jetstar has flown more than 75 million passengers with up to 3,000 flights per week.
Qantas reported an underlying profit before tax of $975 million and a statutory profit after tax of $560 million for 2014/2015 in its 2015 annual report.
The underlying result was a turnaround of $1.6 billion compared with 2013/2014.
Qantas reported the result is its best ever second half performance with all segments of the Qantas Group being profitable, with Jetstar Group contributing $230 million EBIT compared to an underlying EBIT loss of $116 million in 2013/2014.