Qantas Group stated (23-Aug-2012) Jetstar Japan has had a successful launch, with 100,000 passengers flown from 03-Jul-2012 to 21-Aug-2012, with a 86% load factor in the opening month and "continued strong performance" since. The current fleet of four A320s will grow to 13 by Jun-2013, as the carrier increases its network from 78 to 495 weekly services by end of FY2013. The increased operations will come from a mix of increased frequencies on the initial network, the establishment of a second Japanese base in 1HFY2013 and the launch of international services from 2HFY2013. The carrier noted funding has been committed for 24 aircraft.
Jetstar Japan to add second base in 1H2013, expand network from 78 to 495 weekly services
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Virgin Australia gains Tiger Australia to complete the domestic set
Virgin Australia has been granted approval to buy a 60% stake in LCC Tiger Australia by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and in so doing puts in place the final piece of a puzzle that allows Virgin Australia to compete against the Qantas Group on a level footing.
The ACCC agonised over the ground-shifting decision with concerns that returning the Australian market to a duopoly would remove the benefits that Tiger Australia had brought as a third competitor when it launched in Nov-2007. The commission delayed its decision by nearly six weeks while it sought more information from Virgin Australia and Tiger Australia to provide the comfort it needed.
Ultimately ACCC chairman Rod Sims concluded that “this acquisition is unlikely to lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the Australian market for domestic air passenger transport services”.
Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said: “By partnering with Tiger Airways, we can use our local expertise to build a sustainable budget carrier, which will offer great value airfares and benefit jobs and tourism in Australia.”
Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand apply for renewal of trans-Tasman alliance, without conditions
Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand have applied to the ACCC for a five year renewal of their trans-Tasman alliance which expires on 31-Dec-2013. The renewal would replace the current arrangement that was approved for three years in Dec-2010.
This time around, however, the world has changed. Virgin Australia and Air NZ have requested that the carriers' need to maintain a base level of capacity on the trans-Tasman as a whole, and grow seasonal capacity on some routes, should be dropped as conditions from the renewed authorisation. The airlines claim they have demonstrated that their alliance is not harmful to consumers and has resulted in competitive responses from other airlines.
Furthermore, Virgin Australia and Air NZ say the capacity conditions may in fact be harmful to consumers by preventing the carriers from efficiently reacting to changes in market conditions.
The possibility of Qantas and Emirates extending their global alliance to the Tasman emphasises the need to renew the Virgin Australia-Air NZ alliance, according to the carriers.