Eager to claim its share of the budget airline market, Jetstar International the offshoot of Australia's Qantas indicates it is stepping up its launch program and now looking at a November 2006 commencement of service.
Qantas' CEO, Geoff Dixon, is busy putting the money and the aircraft into position to allow its low-cost subsidiary to take wing. "We are more and more confident that Jetstar will start this calendar year, and it's going to have four A330-200 aircraft, and we're buying another two A330-200s to put in to Jetstar's initial operation for its international flying," confirmed Dixon.
Sydney press reports suggest that Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Taipei, Phuket, Bali and Honolu will form the list of intiaial cities to be served by Jetstar International. Those same reports say that once the airline secures the Boeing 787s currently on order it will commence flight service to the U.S. mainland and Europe.
Qantas is already a 44.5% partner in a joint venture with Singapore Airlines in the loss-making budget carrier Jetstar Asia Ė Valuair.
That Indonesia and Bali are squarely in Qantasí sights is confiremd by recent talks betyween the Australian carrier and Garuda Indonesia and separate discussions with Indonesian airline AdamAir regarding a possible financial stake. "We do have a real interest in Indonesia: 250 million people. It's growing, particularly growing in the aviation sector. And it's a close country to Australia," Said Dixon.
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