Australia’s low fares airline Jetstar has unveiled plans to further expand into the nation’s largest leisure destination by offering more daily direct services from Melbourne and Sydney to the Gold Coast. From 22 December 2007 Jetstar will operate an additional two daily return services (14 per week) on the Melbourne - Gold Coast route and a further single daily return Sydney - Gold Coast service (7 per week) on top of existing frequencies.
By Christmas Jetstar will fly the Sydney - Gold Coast route, the nation’s 4th largest domestic air market, up to 10 times daily whilst further growing its popular Melbourne - Gold Coast services up to 8 times daily as part of its future flight schedule.
The new services are supported by Jetstar’s introduction of the first of 9 additional Airbus A320s into its existing narrow body fleet of 24 aircraft, that is to underpin the value based carrier’s next growth phase in the Australian domestic market.
In the year to March 2007, the Melbourne-Gold Coast route grew almost 11 per cent and the Sydney-Gold Coast route saw passenger volumes by all carriers collectively rise by a further 9 per cent to 2 million passengers per annum based on Federal Department of Transport and Regional Services data.
Both Melbourne-Gold Coast and Sydney-Gold Coast routes have come to represent core domestic markets for Jetstar over its first three years of operations and have helped Gold Coast International Airport continue to regularly break passenger traffic records.
Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the additional 21 weekly return services would increase the carrier’s Gold Coast operations to at least 128 weekly return flights and represented a further 20 per cent lift in Jetstar’s operational capacity on the Gold Coast.
Mr Joyce said Jetstar’s three new additional daily return Gold Coast flights were strategically timed for introduction ahead of the Christmas / New Year period, but would be maintained as part of its future Gold Coast flying schedule.
“The Gold Coast has and remains Jetstar’s most popular destination served from our main capital city or regional bases, and our commitment to invest in the future of this region’s tourism industry and its ongoing economic development continues unabated,” Mr Joyce said.
“With the domestic tourism sector in Australia showing pleasing signs of growth there remains clear links to where rising levels of interstate visitation are being directly supported by Jetstar’s ever expanding domestic operations.
“Jetstar also continues to drive greater growth via its domestic operations into and out of Victoria.
“The state is still our largest in respect to the collective total of weekly inbound and departing interstate services we currently and in the near future will fly.”
Mr Joyce said the airline would base an additional A320 in Melbourne to support its new Gold Coast flights, creating more pilot, cabin crew and engineering roles in Victoria.
“The introduction of the extra nine A320s will create up to 400 new direct Australian jobs in the airline,” Mr Joyce said.
“The process for recruitment and commercial discussions with airports around the country to secure the remaining future growth in our narrow body fleet continues.”
Mr Joyce said Jetstar’s strong and growing relationship with the Gold Coast community also included becoming the inaugural naming rights sponsor of the “Jetstar Gold Coast Titans” in the National Rugby League (NRL).
The additional services are now available at Jetstar.com and Jetstar National Telephone Reservations on 131 538 with web fares from AUD $79 one way on Sydney-Gold Coast and from AUD $109 one way on Melbourne-Gold Coast.
Jetstar’s A320 fleet offers a single class cabin for 177 passengers with all leather seats and a wider fuselage for additional passenger comfort and are containerised for improved freight capability.
Jetstar’s nine additional A320s will enter service between late 2007 and March 2009.