Some would say that Jetstar has been then saviour of Qantas and others would say the advancement of the budget carrier has come at the cost of the mainline carrier.
The story started when QANTAS acquired Impulse Airlines, a Newcastle based independent carrier. It took its lessons from that to launch Jetsar in May 2004. The aim was to compete directly with the new low cost carrier Virgin Blue. The Impulse Air Operators Certificate gave Jetstar a head-start. Ironically Virgin Blue (now Virgin Australia) has become a full service carrier.
Today Jetstar has 73 planes including four 787s with ten more jets on order. They fly to 35 destinations in seven countries and have Jetstar subsidiaries in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan.
Skytrax rates them a three star carrier. I give them a rating of 60 percent. By contrast I give competitors Tiger Airlines Australia 40 percent, Air Asia 58 percent, and Scoot 74 percent.
Tomorrow the carrier turns ten. Undoubtedly, they are here to stay. There are two questions about Jetstar’s next ten years:
1. Who will own them? Will Qantas float them off? Will they end up buying legacy Qantas?
2. Will I grow to like them?
Lets re group in 2024 and see!