Jetstar says China still important in its short haul network
Last Updated: 2013-11-28 13:15 | Xinhua
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Jetstar said the Chinese market still has a big role in its short haul network despite the suspension of its direct flights between Singapore and Beijing after Nov. 30.

"China will continue to play a big role in Jetstar Asia's short haul network with a number of China destinations being explored for future flying by Jetstar Hong Kong when it launches," the company said in response to questions from Xinhua by email.

Jetstar announced earlier this year that it is dropping its three weekly services between Singapore and Beijing. The long-haul daily flight services were launched in November 2011 through Australia-based Jetstar Airways. The frequency was reduced to five weekly in May last year and further to three weekly in April this year.

The Jetstar Group now continues to operate medium-haul flights to southern Chinese cities such as Guangzhou, Haikou, Shantou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Taipei. It has increased the frequency of its flights from Singapore to Shantou and Hangzhou, respectively, over the last two months.

The Jetstar Group consists of Jetstar Airways in Australia and New Zealand, and investments in Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam, the Singapore-based Jetstar Asia, as well as Jetstar Japan and Jetstar Hong Kong. Jetstar Hong Kong is a joint venture between China Eastern Airlines and Qantas Group.

It also suspended the four weekly services between Singapore and the Japanese city of Osaka from Nov. 1, though it continues to serve Osaka with flights via Taipei and Manila.

The company said it has "made some changes to its long haul flying network which will see capacity re-deployed from Singapore- Osaka and Singapore-Beijing routes to stronger performing long haul destinations across its Pan Asian network from Australia."

The company will be launching non-stop flights between Melbourne, where it is headquartered, and the Thai resort city of Phuket from Dec. 14. In December, it will be increasing the frequency of its flight services between Melbourne and Honolulu, and of those between Melbourne and Singapore.

These services will be operated by Jetstar's existing fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft until the end of January.

It is understood that Jetstar is now in the process of transitioning from the Airbus A330s to the more efficient Boeing 787s for its long-haul routes, which will lead to a temporary reduction in its widebody fleet. It is transferring its A330s to its parent company Qantas.

Jetstar has placed orders for a fleet of 14 Boeing 787s, with the first delivered recently. The Boeing 787s will be configured to carry 335 passengers, including 21 business class seats.

Jetstar is looking at a range of destinations to deploy capacity and that further international announcements will follow, the company said.

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