Jetstar operated (13-Nov-2013) its first scheduled Boeing 787-8 service operating Melbourne-Gold Coast sector as JQ432 on 13-Nov-2013. Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said, “Today, we celebrate Jetstar being the first low fares airline in Asia Pacific to start commercial 787 services.” She continued, “Our customers will experience a step change in their comfort on board and fly on the most modern and passenger friendly aircraft available.” Jetstar will operate daily Melbourne-Cairns and six times weekly Melbourne-Gold Coast service over the next four weeks before deploying the 787s on international services to Bali on 18-Dec-2013. [more - original PR]
Jetstar inaugurates first 787-8 service
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Having built a regional Asian network anchored around mainland China as a source market, HNA Group's Hong Kong Airlines is leveraging its hub capability from short/medium haul connections to long haul transfers, which also reduce CASK. Hong Kong Airlines resumed long haul flying in early 2016 with a service to Cairns and the Gold Coast. Auckland will be added from Nov-2016 and Hong Kong Airlines should be able to break up the Air New Zealand-Cathay Pacific joint venture on the route.
Hong Kong Airlines is restricted from serving major Australian cities due to bilateral limits (Australia and Hong Kong have not been able to agree on increased capacity levels). Hong Kong Airlines' owner HNA has bought into Virgin Australia, which plans to serve the key HNA hubs of Beijing and Hong Kong in 2017, providing access from major Australian cities. Virgin could also help Hong Kong Airlines make viable service to smaller Australian cities.
Hong Kong Airlines is receiving a lift in Australia and New Zealand bookings, attributed to Asian consumers shifting away from travel in Europe, which has repeatedly been impacted by terrorist acts. Hong Kong Airlines believes that passengers are "viewing Australia and New Zealand together as more of a safe-haven status destination".
AirAsia X Part 2: LCC's Australian expansion could include Brisbane, Canberra, Nth Queensland
Malaysia’s AirAsia X is considering the launch of services to several new gateways in Australia. Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra and Townsville are all under consideration as the medium/long haul low cost group resumes expansion.
AirAsia X is also considering launching nonstop flights from Kuala Lumpur to Auckland. The airline launched services to Auckland via the Gold Coast in Mar-2016 and the route has so far exceeded its expectations, prompting it to consider a nonstop product for Auckland and one-stop services to secondary destinations in New Zealand.
This is the second in a series of analysis reports on AirAsia X. The first report looked at the resumption of capacity expansion in the Australia-Malaysia market in 2016 with additional flights to existing markets. This report focuses on possible new destinations in Australia for 2017, and potential growth in New Zealand.