Australia's Jetstar makes Singapore its main Asian hub

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Australia's Jetstar has picked Singapore as its key air hub in Asia, basing its largest number of Airbus A320s in the region at the island's Changi Airport and committing itself to introducing long-haul services using Airbus A330s.

Jetstar, which has a Singapore-based associate Jetstar Asia, says that it will increase flight frequencies to existing destinations and offer new services out of Singapore under a three-year agreement with the Changi Airport Group

"We're committed to growth in Asia and in Singapore," says Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan. "We're able to grow the business aggressively, and can start to evaluate more opportunities."

He adds that Singapore is of "high strategic importance to Jetstar and equally of great importance to the Qantas Group". "We want to make sure our competitive situation in this region remains strong and we grow out of here".

Changi says that it is committed to helping Jetstar grow and keep its costs low by offering it various incentives under its "Growth Initiative".

"By hubbing at Changi, Jetstar will gain from inter-lining opportunities with the many airlines that fly here, including its parent, Qantas, which already uses Changi as an Asia hub," says Lee Seow Hiang, CEO of the Changi Airport Group.

Jetstar has eight A320s based in Singapore with Jetstar Asia and has another four aircraft serving the country from Australia. It will add another two in June, and says that it will continue to build the fleet over the coming year. The carrier is due to receive six A330s over the next three years, including three in the last quarter of 2010, but Buchanan declines to say when the first will be based in Singapore.

"It all depends on when we get the rights to begin the long-haul flight," he adds. "We're keen on a few services but we must wait to get approval."