Jetstar confused over location of Shanghai? Hint: Hangzhou's not in Shanghai.

Jetstar confused over location of Shanghai? Hint: Hangzhou's not in Shanghai.

It looks like Jetstar needs some remedial geography classes. New flights on Jetstar Asia from Singapore to Hangzhou are being advertised by Qantas' Singapore-based low-cost subsidiary as "Hangzhou (Shanghai)".

Do take a second to look the two cities up on a map if you're not enormously familiar with eastern China. 

Business travellers thinking that the flights, which start on 22 March, sound like a cost-saving way to get themselves to Shanghai should think again. Hangzhou is nearly 200 km away from Shanghai. 

Hangzhou (Shanghai) is hardly Melbourne (Avalon) or London (Stansted). More like Melbourne (Shepparton) or Sydney (Bathurst), and with only slightly better ground transport times.

Although Jetstar advertises the high-speed rail links to Shanghai, even the fastest trains take an hour and a half from Shanghai South station to Hangzhou. That's no 431 km/h Shanghai Maglev.

And the hour and a half doesn't include the extra 10 km in Shanghai to get to the centre of town, or the 20 km in Hangzhou to get to the airport. By road, it'll take over two hours between the two cities, without allowing for traffic.

Hangzhou's famously beautiful lakes are a fair distance from Shanghai's iconic skyline

With direct flights from Sydney to Shanghai (the actual Shanghai!) on Air China, China Eastern and Qantas, flying via Singapore to "Hangzhou (Shanghai)" isn't a good way to get to Shanghai. 

If you do want to go to Hangzhou, the capital of economic powerhouse Zhejiang province and one of China's most beautiful cities, Hainan Airlines flies direct from Sydney with a brief stop in Shenzhen.

John Walton

John Walton


Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


  • shanghai expat

    shanghai expat

    19 Jan, 2011 07:39 pm

    They advertise it as Hangzhou(Shanghai) because Air Asia advertises it as Hangzhou(Shanghai).

    You might want to update your readers on the fast train between Hangzhou & Shanghai is not an hour and half but 40-48 minutes from Hangzhou to Shanghai Hongqiao Station which started last October. Shanghai Hongqiao is the new transport hub that connects to the Hongqiao airport and subway lines 2 & 10. 

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  • John Walton

    John Walton

    19 Jan, 2011 10:10 pm

    Shayanong! Thanks for the local heads-up.

    After some extensive sleuthing, all the information online pointed towards a 90-minute trip given the arrival and departure times of 2335 and 0035, which headed towards Shanghai Nanzhan rather than Hongqiao.

    Do you know differently? We're always happy to make corrections. 

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  • thatskelvin


    15 Mar, 2011 08:18 pm

    Hi John, Good article!

    The 350km/hr high-speed train does connect Hangzhou and Shanghai Hongqiao (the new transport hub with an airport, a train station and two subway lines) with a 45-min ride from the old Hangzhou railroad station. When the new Hangzhou Dongzhan (Hangzhou East) station unveils at the end of 2011, the ride would be shortened to 38min. There are also routes that run between Hangzhou and Shanghai Nanzhan (Shanghai South) with a 160km/hr train ride for 1hr18min.

    I guess Jetstar brands the route as Hangzhou (Shanghai) mainly because it's a good way to indicate the location of flight destination while not much misleading the passengers - Hangzhou, Shanghai and Hangzhou (Shanghai) are different. AirAsia has been doing this sort of co-naming for a while - Hangzhou (Shanghai) and Tianjin (Beijing). And they DO provide a bus service from Hangzhou to Shanghai connecting their flight!

    This co-naming is also used by Air China for their Tianjin routes. Air China provides what they call "virtual flight" (CA9001/02) - a bus service in fact - to connect those who are continuing their trip from Tianjin to Beijing and vice versa.:)

    Other great ways to travel from Sydney to Hangzhou - fly Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong, or Asiana via Seoul. Both one short transit.

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16 Jul, 2019 04:42 am


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