It’s not quite the lead up to an 18th birthday everyone expected, but the CEO of budget airline Jetstar says a new secret weapon is sure to get the party going.
It’s not quite the build-up to an 18th birthday that anyone expected.
But after two years of turbulence for the airline industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Australian airline Jetstar say they are finally ready to celebrate – and pull out all the stops for the big occasion.
In celebration of the budget airline’s 18th anniversary, Jetstar will unveil the new livery for its fleet of world-class Airbus NEOs as the group prepares for “a new era of flying”.
With an orange tail and underbelly, the new plane will also have new wingtips and be 15 percent more fuel efficient. The first of the 38 aircraft will arrive in Melbourne in mid-July.
But the airline’s CEO, Gareth Evans, told news.com.au that the real highlight with the new plane comes from the cabin.
“These planes were actually ordered in 2011, so it’s a long wait,” he explained.
“They offer us and our customers many advantages. They are 50 percent quieter, the seats are wider and there is 40 percent more storage space.
“The plane comes with power in the seat and a place to put your iPhone or iPad, as well as internal Wi-Fi. Not real Wi-Fi, but an integrated Wi-Fi so you can use your smartphone to log in and watch movies, distribute menus and information.”
Mr Evans said the first of the new aircraft will arrive in mid-July and a further 18 of the LR versions will land within the next two years. Twenty of the XLR version, which can fly even further, will arrive for the airline in 2025.
“These planes use less fuel and they can fly further, which is good for us as an airline and especially good for the environment,” said Mr Evans.
“These planes can fly further so we can get to Bali from the east coast, meaning we can free up the 787s to fly to other destinations. Then the XLR can get them well into South East Asia from Melbourne and Japan from North America.” Australia.”
Mr Evans said that despite the airline’s new secret weapon and improved experiences, Jetstar will keep their prices low.
“What Jetstar has done since it came on the market 18 years ago is democratize air travel for Australians,” he said.
“These new aircraft are not about making Jetstar premium and then paying for it, it’s about making Jetstar experiences simple and convenient and as comfortable as possible and continuing to offer great low fares to our customers.
“Fuel is a big expense for any airline and for a low cost airline it’s a bigger part of the cost. Managing your capacity is the most important lever, so make sure you have the right amount of capacity in the market – increase your seat factor a few points, so instead of an 82 percent seat factor, use 85 percent seat factor.
“That’s one way to increase revenue per unit without adding a dollar in tariffs.
“As we now have all these low fares, people are very happy to fly to Perth for a weekend or to the footy in Brisbane or relatives in New Zealand.
“On our first flight 18 years ago we had $29 fares, a month ago we were offering $22 fares. That is extremely important, as is improving the customer experience and making it easier and as relaxed as possible for people.”
Entering a new era of flight Mr. Evans expects the airline to see a growing number of newly introduced domestic routes become most successful.
“Because we have recovered from Covid…it has caused my leisure travel and visiting friends and relatives,” he explained.
“We have merged Melbourne and Hervey Bay, Melbourne and Launceston. As for new destinations, Busselton – which we’ve tried nine times to launch – we finally arrived about a month ago. That opens up that part of the world and will be huge for Western Australia.
“Canberra has always been the only major market in which we were not active, now we have started from Canberra to Brisbane which has been incredibly successful from the start. Now we are looking at adding even more destinations to Canberra and we expect them to be very successful.”
The airline put Melbourne and the Gold Coast on its network map last month, just weeks before rival airline REX announced they would be taking their fleet off the Canberra to Sydney route.
Internationally, Mr Evans said four destinations remain in focus.
“Korea is one that we’re really excited about right now. But we may be looking for additional capacity in Japan, Bali and Vietnam and other regions in Asia-Pacific,” he said.
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