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the future of the Asian market. Researchers foreca st that,
within 20 years, 16 percent of the world’s middle class
will be in East Asia . By then, China may already have
the world’s fourth-largest population of millionaires
and India the twelfth.
Asian plans also include establishing a new low-cost
carrier in Japan, in partnership with Japan Airlines
( JAL) and Mitsubishi, with each partner holding
a third of the voting rights in the company. To be
called Jetstar Japan, the new unit will launch domestic
Japanese ser vices by the end of next year from Tokyo’s
Narita airport and Osaka Kansai International, with
an initial fleet of three new 180-seat A320s, growing
to 24 aircraft in its first few years of operations.
Destinations under consideration include Sapporo,
Fukuoka and Okinawa . The carrier will also introduce
short-haul international ser vices to key Asian cities
in China and South-East Asia in the first year of
The new unit’s workforce will initially be 150,
rising to 800 within a few years. Total capitalisation
committed to the new airline is 12 billion yen (US$156
million). The partners plan to apply for an operators’
certificate in September.
Jetstar itself has been ser ving Japan since March
2007, operating widebody A330s in a two- class
configuration, linking Tokyo and Osaka with Cairns
and the Gold Coast. The company also flies from
Singap ore via Taipei to Osaka with Jetstar Asia’s
A320s. Jetstar is the largest carrier operating ser vices
between Australia and Japan, carrying some 2 million
passengers a year.
In Asia, Qantas is also looking at opportunities to
work with Malaysia Airlines (MAS), which is set to
join the Oneworld alliance, particularly on services to
Elsewhere, a “gateways to the world” strateg y based
on an expanded network of alliance relationships is
an important part of the transformation. In North
America , for example, Qantas is working on joint
commercial planning , sales and marketing with partner
In South America, Qantas will replace Buenos Aires
with Chilean capital Santiago on its network, working
with Oneworld partner LAN to provide connections
throughout the region.
Qantas will launch thrice-weekly flights between
Sydney and Santiago from early 2012, using a Boeing
747 reconfigured with the same cabin product the
carrier offers on its Airbus A380 fleet, with plans
to increase this to a daily frequency. Santiag o will
provide more connections across the continent than
the carrier’s existing services to Buenos Aires.
Next April, Qantas will also expand its long-
running partnership with British Airways (BA),
under the airlines’ Joint Ser vices Agreement ( JSA).
Singap ore will be consolidated as the primary JSA
hub, with Qantas’s London flights from Melbourne
and Sydney to be consolidated through Singapore
using A380s, while BA will upgrade its L ondon-
Singapore-Sydney ser vices from a 777 to a 747
jetliner. Qantas will also construct a new premium
lounge at Changi International Airport.
From early 2012, Qantas will ser ve Bangkok and
Hong Kong from Australia , while BA will op erate
Bangkok-London and Hong Kong-London. Qantas
will no longer offer onward flights to London from
those Asian destinations, while BA will no longer
continue to Sydney on these sectors.
The move will reduce loss-making , asset-intensive
flying , at the same time as maintaining connections
and frequent-flyer benefits for travellers to the UK
and other destinations. It will also allow Qantas to
retire four 747s. Valuable Heathrow slots will be
preser ved for future requirements, Joyce said.
Meanwhile, the airline’s partnership with South
African Airways on ser vices to Johannesburg will
“ We are negotiating further opportunities to
advance our ‘g ateway’ strateg y,” said Joyce.
Fleet changes are also afoot, with Joyce
acknowledging that “the right fleet plan is
The airline has ordered up to 110 new A320-
family aircraft, plus 194 purcha se rights and options.
Of these new aircraft, between 28 and 32 will be
current-generation A320s and 78 will be re-engined
A320neos. The A320neo offers an 8 percent cost
advantage over current models of the aircraft, with up
to 15 percent lower fuel burn, up to 20 percent lower
engine-maintenance costs and improved payload-
Some 24 of the new A320s will go to Jetstar Japan,
with half of the A320neos replacing leased aircraft,
while the other half will support base growth in the
existing Jetstar business. Eight of the new aircraft will
go to Qantas’s new premium carrier.
The airline has neg otiated with Airbus to defer
delivery of six of its 20 A380s by five to six years.
These aircraft will now be delivered between 2018
and 2021, corresponding with the retirement of the
“Over the coming decade, our fleet strategy will deliver a
simplified, highly flexible fleet of next-generation aircraft
capable of meeting our needs while driving down operating
costs.” – Qantas CEO Alan Joyce
The Australian carrier has deferred the delivery of its last six Airbus A380s.
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