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Jetstar / Asia Travel / Australia Travel / LCCs / Low Cost Carriers / Qantas / → All Tags
Trying to put that controversy behind them, Jetstar is crowing about new routes running from Perth to Bali and Perth to Jakarta. The Western Australia to Indonesia route is a pretty busy one, and getting tickets at the discount fare of A$179 ($168, one way) is a pretty good deal.
But Jetstar does seem to be forgetting one thing. The LCC's parent company Qantas already said it would spin these routes to Jetstar as part of a cost-cutting drive. So flying into Bali is really just a consolation prize, right?
· Jetstar Launches Sale Fares for New Southeast Asia Flights [Peanuts]
· Qantas Cuts Flights and Sacks Staff [SMH]
· Japan Air Travel: More Flights, Different Flights [Jaunted]
Japan Travel / Jetstar / HND / NRT / OOL / Airports / → All Tags
Big things are happening in the realm of Japanese air travel. Bloomberg reported just this morning that Tokyo's Haneda airport--which dropped most of its international air traffic after Narita opened in 1978--will have twice as many flights as originally planned after a fourth runway opens in 2010.
As many as 30,000 slots per year will serve Asian cities like Seoul and Hong Kong, while another 30,000 will be allotted primarily for red-eye flights to Europe and other world destinations. Even better? The government is planning a high-speed rail link between Narita and Haneda, also to be completed by 2010, making Tokyo a powerhouse international hub.
Meanwhile, Australian LCC Jetstar is switching up its long-haul flight to and from Osaka: Brisbane is out and the Gold Coast (OOL) is in. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Queensland's largest city just isn't doing it for Japanese tourists:
Strong trade industry support in Japan and Australia led to the change, Jetstar spokesman Simon Westaway said.
"The reason we've done this is very straightforward--it's market driven," he said. "Over 75% of the Japanese customers who fly on this route, their end destination is the Gold Coast."
[Photo of Haneda: kala-pattar]
787 / Dreamliner / Jetstar / Virgin Atlantic / British Airways / → All Tags
We're beginning to think we may never fly on one of Boeing's new Dreamliners. The company announced this morning that it's yet again pushing back the debut of its fancy, fuel-efficient 787s, saying it'll get them off the ground by the end of 2008. That means the first commercial flights won't happen until well into 2009.
The news is sad for plane geeks like us, but it could be worse. Some airlines, like Australia's Jetstar, have tied their expansion plans to the 787. No new planes means no new routes--and no new cash rolling in.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also among the carriers affected. No doubt all three airlines are hoping this is the last of the game-killing delays.
Qantas offshoot and LCC Jetstar has made more of a habit of hitting our headlines with good news than bad--they have mystery shoppers to keep standards high, and the airline wants us to be able to fly long haul from Oz to Europe on the cheap.
Of course, a bad news headline was waiting just around the corner: An ex-flight attendant claims that while she was a passenger on a flight from Sydney to Phuket, the Aussie soldiers sitting near her spiked her bottle of water while she was in the bathroom. She passed out, wet herself, and came to an hour later, in her words, "mortified and devastated".
We're not sure what's going on here, but the odd part is that she didn't complain to the airline--she just told a television network. Jetstar says they only have a record of her falling ill and being cared for in a curtained-off crew area. Whatever the real story, we might just be taking our water bottles with us to the bathroom in future.
Qantas off-shoot and low cost carrier Jetstar has become one of the world's fastest growing budget airlines--its growth is now faster than big European performers EasyJet and RyanAir. Being keen for things to stay that way, Jetstar is making a big deal about how much it's doing to make sure its customers are served well.
That's why the airline has a mystery shopper program. Since late last year, "fake flyers" on both Australian and international routes have been zipping across the skies, unbeknownst to the flight staff, and giving feedback to Jetstar about their service from check-in through to arrival and baggage collection.
An external company sends in the mystery passengers, but unfortunately their feedback is confidential. Jetstar only wants to make a big deal about the fact that these mystery shoppers exist, not what they actually think.
Despite sounding more like a weight loss plan than a cheap airfare, we're still happy to hear about the new Jetsaver Light deals that Qantas spin-off and Aussie LCC Jetstar has come up with.
Like RyanAir, Jetstar has figured out that passengers who don't check any baggage are a whole lot cheaper to deal with. But unlike the RyanAir method of punishing their suitcase-carrying customers with ever-increasing extra charges, Jetstar has done the opposite and is offering the Light fares to passengers who only want to take carry on luggage. That means that people wanting to fly domestic Australian routes with just 10 kg or less of hand baggage will get a $10 discount, and on routes to Asia the fare will be $20 cheaper.
To celebrate the Jetstar Light deal, the airline is doing a bit of a publicity sale with 5,000 seats being sold for just one (Australian) cent each, including taxes (!). They're just for six of the domestic routes, but you can't complain much for just a cent.
[Photo: Claire L. Evans]
Airlines / New Routes / Low Cost Carriers / LCCs / Tiger Airways / Jetstar / → All Tags
So much action in the flight routes of Australasia, so little time to fly every one of them. Big news this week came as Singapore and Malaysia finally opened up a route between the countries to competition. Until now, this flight has cost around $320, a crazy amount for just 55 minutes in the air.
There are plenty of potential takers for budget flights on the KL to Singapore route, with Tiger Airways (a 49% subsidiary of Singapore Airlines) and Qantas offshoot Jetstar already putting their hands up. AirAsia, a Malaysian low cost carrier, is also part of the market, with two flights per day on the route. It's now possible to grab tickets for only the cost of the airport taxes and charges.
And while the liberalization of this route is only partial--just four flights per day have been allocated to the budget carriers--the experts are predicting the traffic will triple within the next two years. The good news is that more openings of Southeast Asian routes should follow by the end of this year, which means we can fly more often and more cheaply. We're going to need some more time off work.
[Photo: S J photography]
787 / Dreamliner / Jetstar / Qantas / Australia Travel / LCCs / Low Cost Carriers / → All Tags
Airlines the world over are waiting for Boeing to finish building its new 787s, and with delivery now set for 2009 at the earliest, Jetstar, for one, is canceling flights. The Qantas spinoff that's supposed to challenge Virgin Blue will have to wait until 2010 to start flying its European service.
But the carrier won't simply stand for these business-killing delays; Qantas is seeking damages from Boeing, which said it would have the first 15 787s out to Australia by May 2009. We don't know how much cash the airline will be asking for, but CEO Alan Joyce cares about more than just money:
We will get compensation from Boeing for the delay. [But] we are disappointed because we would rather be flying the aircraft.
Back at the start of this year we mentioned that Pacific Airlines was about to start running as a budget airline in Vietnam. They did, and they're still running, but it looks like they're about to get a name change anyhow.
As they stand at the moment, Pacific Airlines is a low cost carrier based in Ho Chi Minh City, flying to other parts of Vietnam as well as to Thailand and Singapore, with plans to add Cambodia and Malaysia soon.
Costs are typical for budget carriers; flights to Singapore for $39, for example. The flights from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi being advertised for one million Vietnamese Dong might sound pricey, but that works out at around $63.
Recently Qantas acquired a 30% stake in Pacific Airlines, and it's in the cards that it will be rebranded as Jetstar in 2008. We'll be watching the skies to see what happens.
[Photo: IPJ Mike]
LCCs / Low Cost Carriers / Asia Travel / Australia Travel / Qantas / Jetstar / → All Tags
Known as the budget spin-off from Qantas that appeared in a hurry when Virgin Blue started snatching up the Aussie market, Jetstar is now looking to expand its Asia service beyond its current flights to Thailand. It already has an alliance with Jetstar Asia providing routes into Vietnam, but now it's looking for the big one.
In this market, the big one is getting people to Europe without charging them an arm and a leg. Jetstar wants to fly a budget route from Australia all the way to Europe starting in early 2009, and they're just trying to decide where the stop-overs will be. Under consideration are Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Bangkok and Singapore--it all depends on passenger flows and airport fees.
Long haul from Australia to Europe, but in budget airline style? We do like the idea of spending less for a flight like this. But we're not sure if we can survive all that way on cookies bought off the attendant. And is a free-for-all to pick your seat really appropriate when you're going to be stuck in it for 24 hours?