Jetstar Asia eyes additional interline agreements

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Jetstar Asia hopes to sign interline agreements with several carriers by the end of the year, and use that as a base to expand its route network in the coming months.

"Additional interline agreements will allow more passengers to buy tickets on our network out of Singapore. That will allow us to start services on the routes that these passengers may want," says Chong Phit Lian, CEO of Jetstar Asia.

The carrier has an interline agreement with Australia's Qantas Airways, which owns 49% of it. It is also in the process of extending the interline agreements with Jetstar, Qantas' Australia-based low-cost operation.

Chong says that the model for Jetstar Asia will be Australia's Jetstar, which has inked nine interline agreements in 2009. This includes agreements with Qantas, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways, Japan Airlines, Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways.

"(In Australia) Jetstar benefits from a wide range of agreements that open its network up to more airlines and their passengers, and that is what we hope to do as well," she says.

The airline said last month that it would resume services on the Singapore-Phuket route, and begin flying to Haikou in China's Hainan Island, in December. These are its 18th and 19th routes from Singapore. It also plans to increase frequencies on existing services and start new ones in 2010.