Jetstar to Boost Operations in South Australia with new Adelaide Base

Australian budget carrier Jetstar has announced it is expanding its presence in South Australia and will establish a new cabin crew and pilot base in Adelaide to pave the way for additional services.  The low-cost airline will base four of its Airbus A320s at Adelaide Airport from March 31, 2014, creating more than 120 new positions in the process.

Jetstar will operate up to 88 domestic services each week from Adelaide and from this month as it launches up to six international departures per week on new routes to Bali and Auckland.  The carrier has more than doubled its activities at Adelaide over the past four years and has played a role in it becoming one of the fastest growing airports in the country.

Jetstar Australia and New Zealand chief executive officer, David Hall, said the time was right to expand the airline’s presence in South Australia still further and provide extra services from Adelaide.  “Basing four aircraft at Adelaide will allow us to expand our schedule and add one extra daily flight between Melbourne and Adelaide and Sydney and Adelaide respectively,” he said.

“Our presence in Adelaide has more than doubled in the past four years and we believe the establishment of a dedicated crew base will provide a solid foundation to continue to grow low fares from the capital of South Australia,” he added.

To facilitate its expansion at Adelaide, Jetstar will transfer capacity from existing bases with one aircraft moving across from Melbourne and three from Darwin.  However, a reorganisation of its capacity in the Northern Territory will result in only a small reduction in services of the overall Jetstar Group at Darwin with weekly departures operating reducing from 54 to 49 a week. 

The airline says the decision to relocate flying is in response “to increased capacity and competition, particularly on international routes from foreign carriers”.  According to our sister publication, Routes News, in terms of overall capacity, a Darwin Airport source said that Jetstar's move represented actually only represented the loss of about 32,700 seats per year - less than two return frequencies per week over the annual period.

As part of its redeployment Jetstar will ends its four times weekly service from Darwin to Manila and Tokyo; reduce frequencies to Brisbane from nine per week to a daily offering; cut Denpasar flights from eight a week to a daily schedule, while its nine times weekly link to Singapore will be reduced to a daily operation and transferred to its Jetstar Asia sister venture.  On a positive note the carrier will boost flights between Darwin and Cairns from three per week to a daily rotation.

Jetstar has been clear in the past that its flying from Darwin was among the most marginal across its entire network.  “These changes will ensure we maintain the highest productivity of our aircraft and reflect our strategy to deploy aircraft on routes to meet market demand,” the carrier said in a statement. 

“It makes sense to base aircraft where there is more network growth as it keeps our fares low and ensures we have the flexibility to optimise our network and adapt to changing market conditions,” it added.

In the table below we look at Jetstar’s activities in Adelaide and Darwin since it inaugurated operations at the two airports in February 2005 and May 2006, respectively.  The airline has provided continuous capacity growth at Adelaide International and boosted its share of total available seats from 4.1 per cent in 2005 to 14.3 per cent this year.  Meanwhile, at Darwin International, where the airline has a much stronger market penetration of over 30 per cent, capacity growth in 2013 ended three years of decline.

JETSTAR AIRWAYS CAPACITY AT ADELAIDE AND DARWIN AIRPORTS (non-stop annual departures)

Year

ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (ADL)

DARWIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (DRW)

Seats

% Change

% Share

Seats

% Change

% Share

2013

721,629

10.4 %

14.3 %

460,731

8.0 %

30.4 %

2012

653,661

6.6 %

13.8 %

426,736

(-10.8) %

30.5 %

2011

613,083

21.2 %

13.7 %

478,321

(-3.4) %

35.0 %

2010

505,689

16.0 %

10.9 %

495,045

(-8.8) %

37.1 %

2009

435,774

9.7 %

9.8 %

542,942

26.8 %

41.3 %

2008

397,365

9.8 %

8.9 %

428,163

51.1 %

33.6 %

2007

361,965

8.2

8.8 %

283,377

137.2 %

25.4 %

2006

334,472

126.8 %

8.4 %

119,475

-

11.5 %

2005

147,492

-

4.1 %

-

-

-