Jetstar aims to add Europe and the US to its international network once the airline takes delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Speaking at an aviation conference in Singapore overnight, the low-cost carrier's CEO Bruce Buchanan said "Europe has always been in our plan as well as North America. A lot of it will depend on fleet deliveries -- we are planning to use the 787 for some of those routes and because of the delay in the 787, we are focusing more on the Asian growth opportunities."
Athens, Milan, Munich and Rome are said to be on the shortlist for new European destinations, with the flights transiting via Singapore. While no US cities have been mentioned, San Francisco could be a possibility given Qantas' recent decision to abandon direct Sydney-San Francisco flights from May 14 for a non-stop service to Dallas.
Buchanan confirmed the timeframe outlined in Australian Business Traveller earlier this week, under which Jetstar expects to take delivery of its first of fifteen 787 Dreamliner by the end of 2012 –- a delay of up to six months due to continued setbacks for Boeing's next-gen jetliner.
However, Buchanan said the airline's long-haul plans would not be affected by any slippage in the 787 Dreamliner as three new Airbus A330s -- eight of which already service Jetstar's international routes and will be replaced by the Dreamliner -- are due this year.
Buchanan also set a target of growing the airline's Asian business by at least 30 per cent this year alone: a goal which will be helped by the ability of passengers to book Jetstar flights on a oneworld itinerary as long as the Jetstar flights are codeshared with Qantas.
The move carries unexpected benefits for business travellers including easier connections to major international routes out of Sydney, access to less expensive oneworld Explorer fares and the ability to increase point and status earnings under Qantas' Frequent Flyer plan.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.