Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Jetstar Japan cuts Nagoya – Kumamoto and Kansai – Oita.

On August 19th, Jetstar Japan [GK/JJP] announced that they would suspend Nagoya/Chubu Centrair [NGO/RJGG] – Kumamoto [KMJ/RJFT] and Osaka/Kansai [KIX/RJBB] – Oita [OIT/RJFO] effective October 25th, the beginning of the Winter 2015/2016 timetable. These routes will only have survived just over a year as they were launched on October 26th (Jetstar Japan starts three routes from Kumamoto.) and July 11th (Jetstar Japan to start Kansai – Oita in October.), 2014, respectively. They also become the first terminations since the Japanese affiliate of the Australia-based LCC launched operations on July 3rd, 2012.

Airbus A320-232(SL) JA06JJ at Chubu Centrair. After Kumamoto is axed, Jetstar Japan will continue to serve Fukuoka, Kagoshima, Okinawa/Naha, and Sapporo/New Chitose from the airport serving Nagoya. While it has denied developing it into a hub for now, AirAsia Japan (Mk II) will launch in Spring 2016 with a base here. (Photo: Jetstar Japan)

"There weren't enough passengers and we didn't see demand growing as much as we had expected," said a spokesperson from the Narita-based LCC, adding "We are currently reviewing our entire network." Kansai – Oita has been served daily, while the Chubu Centrair – Kumamoto link was initially started with double-daily but decreased to once-daily from the Summer 2015 schedule. Meanwhile, they will continue to serve Oita from Narita, and Kumamoto from both Narita and Kansai (Jetstar Japan launches Kansai hub.).

Jetstar Japan surpassed 10 millionth passengers on August 5th, beating rival Peach Aviation [MM/APJ] by one day, making it the fastest LCC to achieve that milestone as it launched operations four months later than the Osaka-headquartered rival. As they start adjusting its domestic network, it will slowly shift focus to the international arena; Hong Kong [HKG/VHHH] from both Narita (Jetstar Japan starts Narita – Hong Kong.) and Kansai (Jetstar Japan goes international with Kansai – Hong Kong.) will go up to double-daily, and a new international destination is expected to be revealed soon.

On the financial side, profitability has yet to come; another 5 billion JPY is reportedly being prepared for injection together by Japan Airlines [JL/JAL] and Qantas Airways [QF/QFA]. The two biggest shareholders pumped in 11 billion JPY in October 2013 and another 7 billion JPY in October 2014 (Jetstar Japan to receive 11 billion JPY from JAL and Qantas.). "2014 was our bottom. Results have improved, and though I can't say when, we expect to be in the black soon," said Masaru Kataoka, Jetstar Japan's Chairman, adding "Now we are looking to expand into high-demand markets in North Asia and Southeast Asia."

Source: Jetstar Japan, 2015 August 5th. (in Japanese) 
Source: Aviation Wire, 2015 August 8th. (in Japanese)
Source: Jetstar Japan, 2015 August 19th. (in Japanese)
Source: Aviation Wire, 2015 August 19th. (in Japanese)

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