Jetstar confirms closure of regional New Zealand operations

Jetstar has confirmed it will cease all of its New Zealand regional operations at the end of November.

The Australian-based airline said the announcement comes after consultation with all employees who are affected by the closure.

Its domestic flights between the main centres of Aotearoa, as well as its international operations, are unaffected by the action.

Jetstar says nearly all of the staff who worked on the regional service have indicated they would like to remain with Qantas Group, the owner of Jetstar.

"As we explained when we announced our proposal in September, this decision is based on our regional operations continuing to be loss making, combined with higher costs and a softening of the regional travel market," Jetstar's Gareth Evans said.

Evans acknowledged that regional travellers would be disappointed by the news.

"We gave this network a real go over the past four years, but the commercial numbers just don't stack up to keep operating."

Last month's announcement drew fierce criticism from outspoken Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones.

"I'm disappointed that the Aussie companies are not only trying to nick our manuka honey, but now they've turned their backs on providing a comprehensive service out into the regions," he said.

Passengers with tickets booked on Jetstar regional services from December onwards should contact the airline for a full refund or transfer to other services.

Air New Zealand is also offering cheap airfares to passengers who had booked with Jetstar.