Jetstar Australia eyes more non-stop flights to China

Jetstar intends to open up new direct routes between Australia and China as Qantas’ low-cost arm expands its international network.

But rather than the mega-hubs of Shanghai and Beijing, Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka reveals that the airline is circling “major regional cities in China”.

Speaking to Australian Business Traveller at the CAPA Australia Pacific Summit 2016, Hrdlicka sees China as an “opportunity of some magnitude”, and that “it wouldn’t be wrong to say we’re working on those opportunities.”

Jetstar’s push follows the launch of flights between Queensland’s Gold Coast and Wuhan in September 2015 and comes as a raft of Chinese airlines forge direct paths to China’s ‘secondary cities’.

Virgin Australia has also revealed plans to fly to Beijing and Hong Kong next year as part of its new alliance with HNA Aviation Group.

Jetstar’s international Boeing 787 fleet offers 21 business class seats in a 2-3-2 layout but as Hrdlicka rightly highlights, “it’s not a fully-flat bed: it’s more like flying business class domestically (with Qantas) than it is flying business class internationally” – but at a cost that can be lower than flying premium economy with full-service airlines.

Hrdlicka added that Jetstar doesn’t directly market itself to corporate travellers, instead having more appeal with start-ups, SMEs and of course, leisure travellers seeking value but also comfort in business class

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