Australia’s low fares airline Jetstar has made a major advancement in its international flight distribution by announcing the future introduction of interline ticketing with an initial ten international airlines, headed by Qantas.
To be initially launched with Qantas from mid March 2009, Jetstar is planning interline and ticket settlement agreements with a number of leading Asian and European international carriers providing seamless ticketing for both airline customers and the travel industry and a new incremental revenue stream for the Qantas Group’s valued based carrier.
Jetstar will introduce seamless ‘true interlining’ offering the equivalent of a code share product as well as the option of ‘fare combinations’ for participating airlines.
Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan made the announcement during an address to the Low Cost Airline World Asia Pacific 2009 Conference held in Singapore.
Mr Buchanan said the future introduction of interline ticketing would not impact on Jetstar’s aggressive cost management, but would rather allow Jetstar access to new markets the carrier previously did not have a presence.
“Interline ticketing will enable a much broader distribution for Jetstar fares, including access to brand new markets,” Mr Buchanan said.
“For example, with Qantas we will be able to offer German customers itineraries such as Frankfurt to Singapore and then Singapore onto Ho Chi Minh City with Jetstar Asia or Singapore onto Darwin with Jetstar’s Australian operated services.
“Whilst many other value based airlines globally remain fixated with a particular business model, the demonstrated nimbleness and adeptness of Jetstar to best meet its existing and future distribution needs will continue to see us well placed to support sustainable future expansion across the Asia Pacific region.
“Our established interline agreements will provide a seamless booking process for both our airline customers and agents wanting to expand their selling network within the Australian domestic market and across the Asia Pacific whilst offering a normal settlement process.
“We anticipate securing greater incremental levels of passenger traffic in the future previously not captured through Jetstar.com, which will still remain our primary distribution channel along with other modes of distribution within the travel industry.
“Jetstar is pleased to be launching this key product and distribution outcome through our parent company and leading airline partner Qantas.
“In coming weeks further international airline partners, including those based in Asia and Europe, will be looking to reach agreement with Jetstar to seamlessly ticket on our fledging services.
“Given the existing challenges facing Australian tourism exports and Jetstar’s position as the fastest growing international airline serving this market, we expect this announcement to be favourably viewed by the Australian tourism industry.
“Jetstar’s true interlining product and participant fares, which the airline anticipates being the most widely used, will have us offer a code share type product for these customers for the respective part of their journey on our domestic or international services.
“It represents an important improvement to our code share offering which is performing to expectation through the Qantas channel, and to which interlining will be first made available.
“Jetstar practical approach to the distribution of our value based product over our short operational history continues to deliver for our airline’s bottom line and key positioning as one of two future flying brands for the Qantas Group,” Mr Buchanan said.
Similar to interlining offered by full service carriers Jetstar’s interline ticketing will be available on Global Distribution Systems (GDS).
The Jetstar flying businesses now operate to almost 50 destinations across the Asia Pacific region including 20 within Australia.
Mr Buchanan said the airline had worked closely with its key supply partner Navitaire to overcome the challenge of non-recognition of a ticket number within our hosted reservation system ahead of its future operational launch of interline ticketing.
“Our announced approach bridges the divide between low cost ‘ticketless’ and full service systems which will be a first in this market,” Mr Buchanan said.
In recent days Jetstar with Navitaire successfully cut over its Reservations System from Open Skies to New Skies, providing a necessary step-change in system functionality and making it more customer centric through its new flexibility and scalability to meet the value based carrier’s growing network operations.
Mr Buchanan said the offer of interline ticketing was not predicated on the move to New Skies.
The Jetstar Group is one of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing airline brands with one of the most extensive ranges of destinations in the region. It is made up of Jetstar Airways (subsidiary of the Qantas Group) in Australia and New Zealand, Jetstar Asia in Singapore, Jetstar Pacific in Vietnam, and Jetstar Japan in Japan. Jetstar branded carriers operate up to 4,200 flights a week to more than 75 destinations. The Jetstar Group carried more than 34 million passengers in financial year 2016.