Airline works at reliability, image
Jetstar New Zealand says it is attracting more business customers, thanks to its improved standards of reliability. Grant Kerr, head of New Zealand Jetstar operations, acknowledges that there was a period when the Australian-owned airline often attracted public criticism for breakdowns in communication with its passengers.
Jetstar has hit the headlines for such things as having a pregnant woman bumped off a flight after having already let her fly one leg, and cancelling a flight which meant fans missed a Lady Gaga concert in Auckland.
The Australian LCC, a Qantas subsidiary, says it has about 20.7 percent of the domestic market based on flights between Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland, Queenstown and Dunedin, carrying up to 5000 passengers a day.
Grant Kerr says the airline has improved its reliability and “significantly moved on” in its five years as a domestic carrier. The airline is now tracking less than one flight cancelled per 160 scheduled flights, and on its morning and evening peak-hour main trunk flights up to 50 percent of passengers are business customers.
Punctuality is high on a measure based on flights departing and arriving within 10 minutes of the scheduled time, averaging 90 percent or more. The airline marks its arrival time when the aircraft comes to a complete stop at the arrival gate and the park brake is applied.
And last month Jetstar ran a Punctuality Promise campaign, applied to all its domestic New Zealand flights during the eight days 23–30 September. Domestic passengers were given a $25 flight voucher if their flight arrived more than 10 minutes later than scheduled. The campaign applied to all delays, including those caused by weather.
Grant said the promotion was a unique way to highlight to Kiwis how much the airline’s domestic punctuality had improved.
“Everyone knows the saying ‘put your money where your mouth is’, so we felt what better way to further promote our consistently high punctuality than to give people a voucher if we arrive more than 10 minutes later than scheduled.
“While many people are aware of how much our on-time performance has improved, we wanted a campaign that would spread the message even more widely,” according to Grant.
“The point of this promotion is to highlight that we achieve strong punctuality month after month. We’re not adding any extra resources or doing anything differently, and as always safety is our number one priority.”
- Report by John King, photographs by Michael Thomas.
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