Jetstar Asia's near-term growth will focus on increasing frequencies on certain routes within its existing network.

Speaking to FlightGlobal, the budget carrier's chief executive Bara Pasupathi lists its services to Darwin, Okinawa and Denpasar as routes where it will soon add more frequencies.

"Where we are growing is new markets that have gone in with around three or four [weekly] frequencies and then we add up the numbers," he says.

The carrier has already announced that Singapore-Darwin will increase from four to five times weekly from 28 October, while Singapore-Okinawa will increase from three to four times weekly on its service from 15 November.

Jetstar Asia will also add around six to seven additional flights on its Singapore-Denpasar route for the upcoming northern winter season, which Pasupathi says reflects demand is driven by European travellers connecting onto its network from other carriers.

He explains that the carrier is seeing stronger demand from its 32 interline and codeshare partners, as well as increasing feed from 49% shareholder Qantas.

"We are seeing more transfer traffic at Singapore that comes from Europe, across the Asia-Pacific region... 20% of our total traffic is from transfer," he says.

"It has also helped that Qantas' shifting of hubs from Dubai to Singapore has enabled us to carry more of their passengers on our own network."

While it grows some routes, Pasupathi says that he is "happy with the right amount of capacity" on its services to Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta, and thus they are unlikely to see any new frequencies in the short-term. This is part of the Jetstar Group's mantra of being disciplined with capacity growth.

"We are probably the most rational and disciplined of airlines in the whole of Asia-Pacific. We always look for the right aircraft to operate to the right markets... and grow the markets where performance necessitates growth [whilst] keeping cost low and employing innovation."

While Pasupathi declined to reveal Jetstar Asia's CASK, he says that "it is aggressively low in Singapore", while its load factor stands at "around 80%".

The carrier also appears to be content with maintaining its fleet of 18 A320ceos at the same size in the short-term, which Pasupathi says have an average age of seven-to-eight years.

Through Qantas, the Jetstar Group holds an order for 99 A320neo family jets. The first 18 of those will be A321LRs that will be operated by Jetstar’s Australian unit and delivered between 2020 and 2022.

Pasupathi says that there are no immediate plans to renew Jetstar Asia’s fleet, but when it does it will likely tap that A320neo order stream.

Source: Cirium Dashboard