Jetstar Japan will start international flights from February 28 2015 as the low-cost carrier builds up its newly opened Osaka base with a daily service to Hong Kong.
The new route will be served with Airbus A320 aircraft, with Hong Kong Jetstar Japan’s first international destination since the airline began operations in 2012.
The start of international flights, as well as the recently established second operating base at Osaka, was regarded as a key plank in Jetstar Japan’s bid to achieve profitability.
The airline posted an 11.1 billion Japanese yen loss for the 12 months to June 30 2014 and has received two capital injections from its major shareholders Qantas and Japan Airlines in the past year.
Most recently, on November 28, the pair agreed to put an additional 11 billion yen into the loss-making low-cost carrier to support growth ahead of international flights beginning in 2015.
Jetstar Japan said its fleet would consist of 20 A320 aircraft flying to 11 domestic destinations by the end of 2014.
Jetstar Japan chief executive Miyuki Suzuki said international flights would play an important contribution to strengthening the airline’s operations and financial perfomance.
“The announcement of international services is a very positive next step in the evolution of our presence in Japan as the country’s largest low cost carrier,” Suzuki said in a statement.
“These services build on the international network of other Jetstar branded airlines operating to Japan.”
According to a dummy booking on the Jetstar website, Jetstar Japan flight GK61 will leave Kansai in the morning (the actual departure time varies according to the day of the week) for a lunchtime arrival into Hong Kong. The reciprocal GK62 was due to depart Hong Kong in the afternoon for an evening arrival into Kansai.
The airline will compete with Air India, Cathay Pacific, All Nippon Airways, Hong Kong Express and Peach currently on the route.
Australia-based Jetstar Airways flies direct to Osaka from Cairns and the Gold Coast, while Singapore-based Jetstar Asia serves Kansai from Singapore via Manila and Taipei.
And Hong Kong, which is also served by Jetstar Asia from Singapore, is the proposed base for Jetstar’s newest airline, Jetstar Hong Kong, which is awaiting regulatory approval from local authorities.