Jetstar hopes to resume flights to the Cook Islands from October

Jetstar hopes to resume flights from New Zealand to the Cook Islands from the middle of October.

The airline says its services to the Cook Islands are not possible at this stage given the services to Rarotonga originate in Australia and there is currently no bubble for quarantine-free flights between Australia and the Cook Islands.

But it has just opened bookings,available for customers fromOctober 16,in the hopetravel is allowed by then.

One eager traveller who has already booked with the airline has netted a bargain.The entry-level return fare from Auckland with carry-on only is $443 on Jetstar, well below the $776 seat-only fare for the same travel dates in October on Air New Zealand’s website.

A Jetstar spokesman said: ”We look forward to the Australian government working with the Cook Islands and other Pacific Island governments for two-way, quarantine-free travel in the future.”

If the flights aren’t possible, the airline said it will have to readjust its schedule accordingly.

Jetstar yesterday celebrated12 years of flying domestically in New Zealand.It flew between Auckland and the Cook Islands before the Covid-19 pandemic grounded flights.

Air New Zealand is the only airline flying to the Cook Islands after resuming two-way bubble flights last month.It has reported strong demand for the services on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner and has increased its frequency next month.

Graeme West, general manager for Cook Islands Tourism Australasia, said demand for travel had exceeded expectations.

Air New Zealand was adding 16 more flights in July and additional flights until October.

“With people from New Zealand the only ones able to enter the country, it’s an incredibly special time to visit,” he said.

Last month he said that, by late June, most eligible Cook Islanders will be fully vaccinated, adding another layer of comfort and safety for locals and visitors.

The travel bubble allows people who have been resident in New Zealand for the previous 14 days to travel to Rarotonga and return home without having to isolate or quarantine at either end of their trip.

This travel corridor is only open between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and the Cook Islands maritime border remains closed.

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