Jetstar Asia celebrates 5th birthday by starting first Chinese route; also resumes Phuket flights

Image: Jetstar Asia’s Haikou Inaugural Flight Media Conference
Jetstar Asia’s CEO, Chong Phit Lian (second from left, smiling broadly). Many thanks to Simone Pregellio, Manager, Corporate Communications, for the excellent fresh images in this feature and in our route launch coverage.
Image: voucher for the first passenger to check in Haikou
Jetstar’s head of sales, Ronnie Lau, presents a RMB1,000 ($150) voucher to the first passenger to check in at Haikou – that’s enough for about three flights at the advertised price for this Singporean businesswoman.

This week, Jetstar Asia, the Singapore-based low-cost carrier which is 49% owned by Qantas, reached its fifth birthday and celebrated the achievement by starting its first route to China (to Haikou) and re-launching another route (to Phuket). Although AirAsia has grown rapidly in the region, Jetstar Asia’s fleet still consists of just eight A320s. Its share of seat capacity at Singapore Changi airport is still less than 5%, while the 135 weekly departures it operates represent just under 6% of the airport’s movements.

Image: JetStar Asia also resumed Phuket flights this week
Jetstar Asia also resumed Phuket flights this week – but Gunnar Moller, commercial director of Haikou Meilan International Airport, tells “Haikou is much, much better.”
Airline Frequency share Capacity share Non-stop routes
Singapore Airlines 27.3% 37.7% 53
Silk Air 10.3% 5.9% 31
Tiger Airways 6.9% 5.4% 19
Qantas 3.0% 4.8% 8
Jetstar Asia 5.8% 4.5% 15
AirAsia 4.2% 3.2% 7
Source: OAG Max online for w/c 4 January 2010

In addition to its own services, Jetstar Asia’s parent company also owns Valuair, another Singapore-based LCC, which currently operates just four routes, all to Indonesia.

Network now up to 15 routes

As of this week, Jetstar Asia operates non-stop to 15 destinations across south-east Asia. Its current network, start dates and competition are summarised below. Other routes that the airline has operated but since dropped are Bangalore, Kolkata and Pattaya.

Destination Start Date WF Competition
Hong Kong (HKG) 13 Dec 04 14 Cathay Pacific (35), Singapore Airlines (35)
Taipei (TPE) 16 Dec 04 7 China Airlines (7), Eva Airways (6), Singapore Airlines (14)
Bangkok (BKK) 23 Mar 05 20 Singapore Airlines (28), Thai AirAsia (21), Thai Airways (28), Tiger Airways (18)
Manila (MNL) 27 Apr 05 10 Cebu Pacific (28), Philippine Airlines (25), Singapore Airlines (28)
Yangon (RGN) 31 Oct 05 4 Myanmar Airways (5), Silk Air (16)
Phnom Penh (PNH) 15 Dec 05 3 Silk Air (12)
Siem Reap (REP) 16 Dec 05 3 Silk Air (6)
Ho Chi Minh City (SGN) 25 Mar 07 8 Singapore Airlines (21), Tiger Airways (15), Vietnam Airlines (7)
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 1 Feb 08 19 AirAsia (56), Malaysia Airlines (47), Silk Air (37), Singapore Airlines (17), Tiger Airways (20)
Macau (MFM) 2 Feb 08 7 Tiger Airways (11)
Kota Kinabalu (BKI) 1 Dec 08 4 AirAsia (7), Silk Air (6)
Kuching (KCH) 1 Mar 09 4 AirAsia (7), Malaysia Airlines (7), Silk Air (3), Tiger Airways (4)
Penang (PEN) 1 Jul 09 14 AirAsia (14), Malaysia Airlines (7), Silk Air (21), Tiger Airways (12)
Phuket (HKT) 15 Dec 09* 14 Silk Air (28), Thai AirAsia (7), Tiger Airways (14)
Haikou (HAK) 16 Dec 09 4 Tiger Airways (3)
Source: database, OAG Max Online for w/c 4 January 2010
* Originally launched on 25 October 2005

Tiger Airways provides direct competition on eight of the airline’s 15 routes while AirAsia and its various subsidiaries are also present on six routes. On no route is Jetstar Asia the only carrier.

This week’s new route to Haikou in China is a significant milestone as it represents the airline’s first foray into mainland China (albeit on an island), although it already serves both Hong Kong and Macau. Jetstar Asia recently announced that next February it will start flights to a second destination in China, Shantou.


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