Jetstar has announced in Wellington this morning that Palmerston North will become one of four new regional links for the airline.
Mr Smith says the whole region got behind the campaign to bring Jetstar to Palmerston North after the airline announced in June that it was looking for potential routes outside of the main centres.
"Our Mayors, our local MP's and business leaders have all been arguing for Palmerston North to be included. A large number of residents have been active on social media and many signed an on-line petition. It has been terrific response and it has paid off."
Mr Smith says earlier this month, he welcomed Originair's inaugural flight from Nelson to Palmerston North airport.
"Palmerston North is the country's seventh busiest airport attracting close to half a million passengers a year. More airlines are seeing the city as an important destination and gateway to the region. We can expect more passengers through our terminal as they take advantage of more flights at competitive prices."
Mr Smith says there should be a flow on effect for regional tourism too.
"Last year, Palmerston North overtook Nelson and Taupo in terms of domestic tourism spending. We are on track to overtake Rotorua," he says.
Mr Smith says the City's airport has the right infrastructure and the region's tourism industry has the right attitude to welcome more visitors.
For more information contact:
Palmerston North Mayor
Personal Assistant to the Mayor
Palmerston North City Council
06 356 8199