Jetstar Airways Regional General Manager Japan Masaru Kataoka said at a news conference in Osaka on March 25 that the low-cost carrier of Australia succeeded in achieving the initial goals of both profit and load factor in the first business year. Also, he revealed that the direct selling rate (including dealings through its subsidiary Jetstar Holidays) reached 15%, higher than the original goal of 10%.
Jetstar began serving Sydney-Kansai International Airport flights on March 25 last year, followed by Cairns-Central Japan International Airport on August 2 and Cairns-Kansai on September 8. In the summer schedule beginning from March 30 this year, the airline will serve a total of 17 flights a week between Australia and Japan.
Jetstar has drawn attentions as the first full-scale LCC in the Japan market. Kataoka, however, said, “We are providing almost full services in the cabin of our Japan flights. It is difficult to define us as a LCC. Jetstar is a complete LCC in the domestic market of Australia, however it is looking for intermediate services in between full service and LCC on international long-haul flights.”Jetstar is making efforts to raise awareness of its brand name in the Japan market and to balance between direct selling and selling via travel agents.
Kataoka said, “Out of the whole travel distribution for the Australia market in Japan, selling via travel agents reaches 90%. We cannot ignore the fact. We are challenging increase of direct selling while respecting the conventional distribution system.”
Also, Jetstar is trying to sweep away a negative image that it is difficult to book seats for a group. For that, it will offer seminars for travel agent staff in charge of group travels. Jetstar will introduce B787s as early as 2009. Qantas Group has ordered 65 B787s in total, out of which the first 15 are used by Jetstar. For the newest aircraft, the airline plans to develop a special campaign. Kataoka said, “We are discussing expansion of flight network in Japan in accordance with introduction of B787,” however he added that nothing is decided at this moment.