Jetstar dismissed claims the LCC cancelled services during the recent ash cloud crisis for financial reasons as “absurd” (NZPA, 30-Jun-2011). Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan said the airlines acted purely on safety concerns alone. "The claims ... that our position taken had anything to do with a cost cutting measure are absurd. The mere suggestion that grounding your entire operation in market - hundreds of flights over a two-week period - would improve financial performance is out of touch with the tough reality of running an airline," Mr Buchanan said. Jetstar had cancelled more than 460 New Zealand flights during the ash cloud crisis and said its "safety before schedule" approach of grounding flights would cost it more than NZD13 million.
Jetstar dismisses financial claims over groundings as 'absurd'
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Australian LCC Jetstar, part of the Qantas Group, has introduced its first specifically business-targetted fares, FlexiBiz, in a bid to satisfy its growing SME market.
The new FlexiBiz offering allows business travellers to change flights on the day of travel and provides additional carry-on luggage allowances and free seat selection. Additional fees for the extras range from AUD29-AUD34 for domestic flights and AUD39-AUD55 for international flights. Business travellers must have an Australian Business Number (ABN), indicating their business status, in order to qualify.
Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka says the introduction recognises the “significant number of customers travelling for business on particular routes during peak times”. The FlexiBiz bundle allows the Qantas Group to target these travellers in a dual brand strategy alongside Qantas. The budget-conscious business fare is also available in New Zealand and Singapore, with slight variations.
The new offering complements Qantas’ focus on small and medium-size businesses (through Aquire) and premium corporate travel, ensuring that it has all the segments of the business travel market covered. Aquire is a rewards programme for Australian businesses. Similar to the Qantas Frequent Flyer programme for individuals, Aquire offers Aquire Points to businesses for a range of goods and services, including travel on Qantas flights.