A Jetstar Dash 8-300 landed on one engine at Auckland Airport over the weekend after the crew shut down one engine as a “precaution.” The aircraft, carrying 47 passengers, landed safely but was met by fourteen fire engines. Engineers inspected the aircraft and it was cleared to fly again approximately 19 hours after landing.
In further Jetstar New Zealand news, Jetstar has just confirmed it is exiting its New Zealand regional Dash 8-300 routes in November 2019.
What happened on JQ384?
According to a report in the Aviation Herald, VH-TQM was flying as JQ384 from Palmerston North to Auckland on Sunday, October 13, 2019. Both Auckland and Palmerston North are located on New Zealand’s North Island and there is a distance of some 500 kilometers between the two cities. JQ384 is the scheduled 12:05 departure from Palmerston North that is scheduled to land in Auckland 65 minutes later at 13:10.
The Aviation Herald reports that JQ384 was approximately 60 nautical miles south of Auckland and flying at 19,000 feet when the crew shut one engine down as a precaution. The plane landed safely at Auckland Airport at 13:41, about 30 minutes behind schedule.
When Simple Flying asked Jetstar about the reasons for the engine shut down, they were fairly circumspect. A Jetstar spokesperson said;
“A flight from Palmerston North to Auckland experienced an issue with one of the aircraft’s engines and the Captain elected to shut it down as a precaution. The aircraft landed normally.”
The Dash 8-300 is certified to fly on a single-engine. Passengers and crew on JQ384 disembarked normally and there were no injuries reported.
VH-TQM was inspected by Jetstar engineers and cleared to fly by the following morning. The aircraft operated JQ381 back to Palmerston North on Monday morning.
Jetstar’s Dash 8-300s
Jetstar operates five Dash 8-300s in New Zealand. They have a range of 1520 kilometers and can cruise at 505 kilometers per hour up to a maximum height of 25,000 feet. The five Dash 8s are operated by Eastern Australia Airlines for Jetstar. The Eastern Australia Dash 8s are a familiar sight in Australia operating for QantasLink. Unsurprisingly, all three business groups belong to Qantas.
Jetstar’s regional services in New Zealand have struggled to make money for several years. Jetstar Dash 8s services the Auckland-New Plymouth, Auckland-Nelson, Auckland-Palmerston North, Auckland-Napier, and Wellington-Nelson routes. These services are set to end as Jetstar announced last month that it intended to quit its regional routes in New Zealand. This was confirmed in a media release today
The probable withdrawal of Jetstar’s Dash 8s from New Zealand
The announcement has caused somewhat of an outcry in the regional centers set to lose their Jetstar services. Jetstar has long struggled against the market dominance of Air New Zealand and residents of regional centers like Palmerston North fear Jetstar’s exit from their local airport will see Air New Zealand raise fares. For its part, Air New Zealand denies that it will do so.
However, Air New Zealand is facing some tough headwinds of its own. It is undergoing a review of its operation and has a new incoming CEO. How long Air New Zealand’s current promises will last is anyone’s guess.