Jetstar To Cease Flights To Kuala Lumpur From September
By Neville D’Cruz
6 June 2008
MELBOURNE – – Australian budget airline Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas, will withdraw its service from Sydney to Kuala Lumpur from Sept 1, 2008, because of high fuel prices.
Qantas also said that several other services to Asia would be affected.
Malaysia’s charge daffaires in Canberra, Ahmad Fadil Samsuddin, has alerted Malaysians in Australia to the Jetstar decision, saying those who had confirmed their bookings after Sept 1 would be contacted by the airline to make alternative arrangements.
In announcing the changes, Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon said the Japanese and Southeast Asian markets would be most affected.
“At current fuel prices, the group would lose more than A$100 million operating to Japan under our existing structure,” he said in a statement.
Dixon said flights between Japan and Queensland would still offer a capacity of more than 11,500 seats a week. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation said Qantas had targeted the Japan route after years of declining demand.
The number of passengers flying between Melbourne to Japan had been in steady decline since 2004 when total passenger numbers were at 122,000 a year.
Last year, passenger numbers between the two destinations fell from 111,000 to 83,500.
Tourism groups fear North Queensland will be hardest hit by the international route rescheduling which also sees the Cairns/Osaka/Nagoya sector flown by Jetstar being withdrawn.
Qantas’ 14 flights a week from Cairns to Tokyo will be replaced with a daily Jetstar route. A new Jetstar Gold Coast to Tokyo route — five flights weekly — will also be introduced.
Under the changes, Jetstar will withdraw its Sydney to Kuala Lumpur service to free up an A330 plane and replace its existing three times a week A330 service between Sydney and Ho Chi Minh City with five A320 return services on a new Sydney to Darwin and Ho Chi Minh City route.
Jetstar aircraft will replace Qantas on the Perth-Denpasar and Perth-Jakarta routes.