Taranaki leaders plan Jetstar arrival

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The good news was revealed today. Jetstar New Zealand executives are in New Plymouth City and they’re keen to check out what makes Taranaki as perfect as it is.

The airline is checking what Taranaki has to offer as part of a tour of the regions who have made the short list as potential new destinations for the low cost carrier.

Last month, Jetstar announced New Plymouth and the Taranaki region was in the lucky list of seven other regions in the running, including Invercargill, Nelson, Palmerston North, Napier, Rotorua and Hamilton.

Jetstar said it wishes to bring “much needed competition” to the provinces and more affordable ticketing prices.

The tour commenced last week and yesterday airline officials were in Palmerston North where CEO Grant Kerr said that while the final decision would be based on several factors, social media will have a big impact on the decision.

Which is more good news for New Plymouth – they’re operating the largest support campaign Jetstar Airways has seen in history with over 12,000 supporters.

The page ‘Jetstar NZ – Come to New Plymouth’ was created by former council Youth Working Party member and current Taranaki advocate Michael Riley.

Riley says the campaign has been a total hit.

“Together we have shown the country that we’re a region to be reckoned with. Twelve thousand supporters in less than two weeks is absolutely incredible considering our population size,” he said.

“It’s important that supporters tell their friends and family about the page, because Jetstar have announced that social media is a big factor of the decision making process.”

Riley called on New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd to make some noise.

And, that’s just what Mayor Judd has done.

Mayor Andrew Judd announced today that he is excited by the proposal and said he welcomes Jetstar at New Plymouth Airport.

“We’ve made it clear we welcome and support new business in the New Plymouth District, and that the addition of a new airline would bring enormous benefits to people in the region.”

“We’re keen to accommodate Jetstar at New Plymouth Airport,” he said.

Judd admitted that further discussions will take place to work out what is ‘physically possible’ and by what date.

The news of a new airline comes as the government announces a $20 million upgrade of the New Plymouth Airport terminal and runway, with the terminal floor size growing by 60%.

Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year, and be completed in 2017.

/InsidersNZ
B. Morgan 

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