Expanding Asian low-cost carrier, Jetstar Japan, is to introduce flights into the Philippines during the first half of this year, only its third international market. The airline will follow the successful launch of services to Hong Kong and Taipei in 2015 with flights into Manila, host city for the forthcoming Routes Asia network development forum, from three points in Japan.
Jetstar Japan will introduce up to 18 flights a week into Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the main gateway to the bustling capital city of the Philippines. A five times weekly service from Tokyo Narita will commence from March 15, 2016, while a four times weekly offering from Nagoya will follow from April 1, 2016. Both routes will increase to a daily operation by June 1, 2016.
A twice weekly flight from Osaka Kansai will also be added from April 7, 2016, increasing to four times weekly from the start of June. This will complement the existing four times weekly schedule currently provided by its sister airline, Jetstar Asia.
The new routes will support the growing demand for travel between Japan and Manila, a popular year-round destination with a wide selection of shopping, leisure activities as well as vibrant arts, entertainment and gaming. The flights are also expected to meet demand from Japanese travellers, and Filipino expatriates residing in Japan as well as Filipino holiday-makers or those visiting family members.
The new low-fare travel option between the two countries will also provide new connection opportunities around the wider Jetstar Group network across Southeast Asia. The flights will all be operated using 180-seat Airbus A320 equipment and will expand the Jetstar Japan network to more than 100 daily services across 17 domestic destinations in Japan and three international cities.
According to MIDT data for 2015, around 4,800 two-way passengers a day are flying between Japan and the Philippines, with an O&D demand of over 3,500 daily passengers between the two countries. The Tokyo Narita – Manila market is the largest O&D city pair with a 35.5 per cent share of demand ahead of Osaka – Manila (17.6 per cent), Tokyo Haneda – Manila (12.per cent) and Nagoya – Manila (11.4 per cent).
The Tokyo Narita – Manila city pair will see the strongest competition for Jetstar Japan with existing flights from All Nippon Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Japan Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Delta Air Lines. The low-fare airline will also compete with both Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines in the Nagoya – Manila and Osaka –Manila markets, also operating alongside its sister operation, Jetstar Asia, in the latter.