Asian mega-cities get new low-cost link

Jetstar Japan will welcome its 21st A320 aircraft in January 2017
Jetstar Japan will welcome its 21st A320 aircraft in January 2017

Travellers will soon be offered a new low-cost option when flying between two of Asia’s – and the world’s – largest cities.

Jetstar Japan has announced plans to launch its first ever services to mainland China next year, connecting Tokyo with Shanghai. This will make it the first Japanese LCC to operate this key route.

Bookings for the new service opened this week and Jetstar Japan’s CEO, Gerry Turner, said he is expecting to see strong demand.

“The launch of the Shanghai service demonstrates our determination to continue to expand our international network, maintaining our position as market leader and working towards our vision of making the world more accessible to all travellers,” Turner said. “Shanghai is a major commercial and cultural centre with a wealth of attractions… and our low fares will open up the city for an even greater number of Japanese travellers.

“The flights will operate from Narita Terminal 3, making connections with other Jetstar Japan flights simple and convenient,” he added.

Effective 23 January 2017, Jetstar Japan’s flights will depart Narita every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 2215 and arrive at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport at 0110. The return services will leave every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday at 0215 and arrive back in Tokyo at 0605.

To facilitate the launch, Jetstar Japan will take delivery of its 21st Airbus A320 aircraft in January. These aircraft feature 180 economy class seats, so the new Tokyo-Shanghai route will offer a total of 1,440 weekly seats between these two metropolises, which have a combined population of more than 50 million people.

China is now the largest visitor source market for Japan; more than five million Chinese travelled to Japan in the first nine months of 2016, exceeding the full-year total for 2015. Air routes between the two countries have proliferated in recent years, but until now Jetstar Japan has only operated to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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