Jetstar adds new interline partners, sees traffic lift from Qantas

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Jetstar has entered into seven new interline partnerships since the start of 2013, and is also seeing a large increase in traffic as a result of the restructuring of Qantas's Asia network.

The budget carrier says it has added China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Malaysia Airlines, El Al, Swiss and Turkish Airlines to its list of interline partners, taking the total to 31.

The airline's chief commercial officer David Koczkar says that its growing network in Asia - primarily through Singapore-based Jetstar Asia, Jetstar Japan and Vietnamese carrier Jetstar Pacific - makes it an attractive partner for those airlines.

"Through these new agreements, we are now able to connect passengers from places like Zurich to destinations like Phuket and Bali and travellers from Shanghai to Darwin and Perth via Singapore," he says.

Koczkar adds that overall, the Jetstar group has recorded a strong increase in passenger numbers as a result of Qantas retiming its Asian services after moving its hub for European services to Dubai in April.

"Since 2013, we have seen a three-fold increase in the number of passengers booking on Qantas through Singapore to places like Phuket, Penang and Bangkok with Jetstar Asia with convenient same day connections," he says.

Jetstar is working to add a fourth Asian affiliate to its portfolio by the end of the year in Jetstar Hong Kong. Authorities there recently gazetted the airline's application for an air transport licence, and it hopes to launch services by the end of 2013.