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Based in Singapore, Jetstar Asia is a low cost airline. Using the Qantas Group's Jetstar brand, Jetstar Asia has a network of services within Asia using A320 aircraft. Jetstar Asia/Valuair is 51% held by Westbrook Investments Pte Ltd (Westbrook) and 49% by Qantas.
Location of Jetstar Asia main hub (Singapore Changi Airport)
LCCs will continue to evolve into hybrids of the original core model. CAPA and OAG consider Jetstar Asia fits the LCC profile and it is included in our reporting on this basis. Please note: when reporting for an airline is changed from or to LCC the historical data is not affected and it can lead to a distortion in the current reported data. Contact us if you have any queries.
271 total articles
49 total articles
Myanmar has seen a large influx of low-cost carrier capacity over the last 18 months as the two longstanding LCC players in the market, AirAsia and Jetstar, have expanded, while three LCCs have entered. LCC traffic in Myanmar’s international market grew by 70% in 2013 as the penetration rate increased from 20% to 26%.
But the expansion has come at a cost as LCC load factors in Myanmar’s two largest international markets, Thailand and Singapore, have tumbled as competition has intensified. The average LCC international load factor in Myanmar was only 63% in 2013.
Market conditions should eventually improve as demand catches up with supply. But consolidation and/or capacity cuts are likely in the near term.
An under-performing – and ultimately unprofitable – international network has been part of Qantas’ fabric in modern history. The old thinking was that the international network ensured loyalty (and corporate attractiveness) in the domestic market, which was not just handsomely profitable but enough to subsidise international: in FY2012 it recorded a domestic profit over AUD600 million while international recorded an AUD450 million loss.
A series of factors, likely irreversible, changed the willingness to support a largely loss-making network and Qantas has conducted two restructures of its Asian and European network in as many years. But Qantas’ Asian network is still under-performing. Load factors to Singapore have dropped nearly 10ppt since Qantas discontinued Singapore-Europe services. Although the change is less than a year old, Qantas faces structural challenges owing to limited feed and competition. Its partnership with Emirates may be diluting revenue, while a sinking Australian dollar has variable impacts. Meanwhile Bangkok and Hong Kong, de-hubbed in 2012, also show challenges.
Qantas has spoken of better integrating Asia-based Jetstar units with Qantas to act as feed but this, unsurprisingly, has yet to occur. The challenges in Asia are far out-paced by serious, and potentially de-stabilising, factors at home. Qantas has too many crises to address, and its Asian network has not been granted sufficient airspace yet. But time is running out.
A rapid 17% increase of capacity in the Southeast Asia-Australia market has created over-capacity, pressuring down fares. This poses a unique challenge to market leaders Qantas and Singapore Airlines, which must contend with their mainline operation and their low-cost subsidiaries, Jetstar and Scoot.
Full-service carriers with lower fares narrow the gap with LCCs, eroding the value of differentiating factors in such dual-brand strategies. Lower full-service fares can also force down LCC fares. Load factors are weakening at SIA and Qantas especially, while Scoot is carrying fewer Australian passengers than in its first year and has reduced its schedules. Qantas’ re-timing of Asian flights sees it overlap more with Jetstar, which has also reduced flights.
There is almost always an element of overlap in dual-brand strategies, but more recently at SIA-Scoot and Qantas-Jetstar it seems gains at one brand are coming at the sharp expense of the other. Adjustment is needed. Qantas, facing an unprofitable domestic market, is most pressured to make changes.
Darwin is seeing a surge in capacity from foreign carriers as demand for international services expand to and from northern Australia, driven by growth in the energy and mining sectors. The increases offset an upcoming reduction in international capacity by Jetstar Airways as the Qantas low-cost subsidiary closes its Darwin base.
Seat capacity between Darwin and Southeast Asia has expanded by about 40% over the last year as three foreign carriers – Indonesia AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and Philippines Airlines (PAL) – have entered. Garuda Indonesia is also now looking at resuming services to Darwin in 2014.
Darwin was previously only served by one foreign carrier, Singapore Airlines (SIA) regional subsidiary SilkAir, which launched services in 2012. Jetstar also operates three international routes from Darwin – Bali, Manila/Tokyo and Singapore – but is dropping Manila/Tokyo and slightly reducing capacity on Bali and Singapore.
SIA, Jetstar & Tigerair drive Myanmar-Singapore growth but visa restrictions remain major impediment
The Myanmar-Singapore market is facing potential over-capacity as more flights are added, led by low-cost carriers. Tigerair launched services to Yangon in Oct-2013 while Jetstar Asia and Golden Myanmar have both unveiled plans to add capacity on the Yangon-Singapore route.
Passenger numbers between Myanmar and Singapore have increased by about 50% over the last two years. But capacity levels are now up nearly 100%.
Without a waiver of current visa restrictions it is unlikely the market will be able to absorb the additional capacity. Singapore has not approved a proposal from Myanmar to lift visa restrictions although Myanmar is the only Southeast Asian country for which Singapore requires visas. A visa free environment is particularly important for the LCCs, which are eager to stimulate demand on the Yangon-Singapore route.
Tigerair & Scoot poised for expansion in under-penetrated Singapore-China market as Jetstar retracts
The Singapore-China market has huge potential for low-cost carriers, which currently only account for 19% of capacity between the two countries. But the market has proven to be challenging for Jetstar, which is cutting two more Singapore-China routes and reducing the LCC group’s capacity share to an insignificant 3% compared to 10% two years ago.
Expansion from Tigerair and Scoot has filled some of the void left by Jetstar. But total LCC capacity and the LCC penetration rate in the Singapore-China market is on the decline, dropping to only 16% in Jan-2014.
Singapore’s overall LCC penetration is now 31% and is continuing to rise. The relatively low penetration in the Singapore-China market is surprising, particularly as the market enjoys open skies. But the long-term potential is there for more LCC services.