Air New Zealand, Qantas express support for Jetstar after decision to stay grounded

Jetstar extended a hiatus from New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Jetstar extended a hiatus from New Zealand due to COVID-19 restrictions. Photo credit: Getty Images

While Trans-Tasman rivalry is often strong - including in the competitive aviation market - comradery has been on display between the national airlines Australia and New Zealand on Tuesday.

Air New Zealand and Qantas representatives have expressed messages of support for Jetstar after the low-cost airline announced it was extending its suspension of New Zealand flights until at least September 6 due to the continuation of level 3 restrictions.

Jetstar NZ sales manager James Stafford shared his disappointment on LinkedIn, calling the move "unfortunate" in a post that quickly received dozens of comments expressing support - including from competitors.

"James, keep your head up mate," said Air New Zealand's chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace.

"Strong, honest and compelling communication as always. We look forward to having you back in the kiwi skies soon."

Shawn Hansen, a senior Qantas staff member, also offered words of encouragement.

"Sorry to hear mate, the team was doing so well, let's look forward to the return," Hansen said.

Stafford finished off his post by apologising to travel operators and agents.

"I am sorry for any inconvenience this has caused you and your customers. Thank you so very much for your ongoing support, and I look forward to seeing you onboard a Jetstar flight very soon."