Jetstar is looking to improve its on-time reliability by shifting check-in, bag drop and boarding deadlines as its seventh Airbus A321neo LR (NEO) aircraft goes into service.
The low-cost carrier will close boarding gates 20 minutes prior to departure on all domestic and international flights, with check-in and bag drop now to close 40 minutes before departure on flights within Australia and New Zealand, and 60 minutes before departure for international flights.
According to BITRE data, Jetstar had the worst on-time performance across all participating domestic airlines in March 2023, with just 61.9 per cent of flights arriving on time and 59.6 per cent departing on time, while 7.1 per cent were cancelled altogether.
Jetstar’s Chief Operating Officer, Matt Franzi, acknowledged the airline’s performance “hasn’t been up to scratch” and said Jetstar is hard at work improving punctuality and reliability while keeping airfares as low as possible.
“To improve our performance, we’re recruiting more airport staff, cabin crew and engineering team members and making changes to our check-in, bag drop and boarding times, to bring them in line with other low-cost carriers around the world,” he said.
“Everyone across the airline is committed to getting Jetstar to its best while delivering the lowest possible fares so our customers can fly to more places, more often.”
The airline has also brought its seventh A321neo aircraft into service, VH-OFV, which embarked on its maiden flight as JQ938 from Melbourne to Cairns this morning at 6:26am from a scheduled 6am departure time, arriving at 9:23am before landing back in Melbourne as flight JQ941 at 1:29pm.
VH-OFV arrived in Melbourne from Germany via Mumbai and Perth at 6:51am on Monday morning. Jetstar’s fleet of 7 NEOs flies domestic and Bali services, with a service to Rarotonga in the Cook Islands launching on June 29.
According to Jetstar, the NEOs deliver 99.8 per cent mechanical reliability, are 50 per cent quieter than similar size Airbus A320/A321s, and burn up to 20 per cent less fuel.
“Our Airbus A321neo LRs are some of the newest aircraft in the world and our current fleet of six has delivered world beating mechanical reliability for its aircraft type. We are excited to be adding the seventh NEO to our fleet,” said Franzi.
Jetstar will receive another 11 A321neo LR aircraft by the end of 2024, bringing its total NEO fleet to 18.