Jetstar Airways will shut its Darwin base and reduce services there as it transfers aircraft to a new base in Adelaide.
From 31 March 2014, the budget carrier will reduce frequencies on services between Darwin and Brisbane, Cairns and Denpasar to daily services. At the same time, it will also suspend its four-times weekly Darwin-Manila-Tokyo service.
On the same date, Jetstar Asia will take over the flying between Singapore and Darwin, and reduce the frequency on that route from nine to seven times weekly.
The airline says that its Darwin services are “among the most marginal” in its network, largely due to growing competition from foreign airlines.
In past years, Jetstar has pursued a strategy of using Darwin as a northern hub to connect passengers between Asia and Australia. Difficulties with facilitating connections at the airport, however, forced it to abandon that strategy.
As a result of the closure of its Darwin base, Jetstar will transfer the three aircraft based there to a new base in Adelaide that will commence operations from 31 March. A fourth aircraft will also be added to Adelaide from its Melbourne base, resulting in the creation of 120 new jobs in Adelaide.
“Basing four aircraft at Adelaide will allow us to expand our schedule and add one extra daily flight between Melbourne and Adelaide, and Sydney and Adelaide respectively,” says Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive David Hall.
Jetstar will also be launching its first international services from Adelaide – to Auckland and Denpasar – this December.