From the Star online...
KLIA actively bidding to be Jetstar hub
By B.K. SIDHU
SINGAPORE: It is a competitive race and KL International Airport (KLIA) has put in an aggressive bid to be considered as the long-haul transit hub for Australia-based Jetstar Airways’ expansion strategy.
Jetstar chief executive officer Alan Joyce said KLIA, with good infrastructure, had a lot to offer.
“(Landing) rights are important and there is no airline that flies to Athens from KLIA and we need a transit stop for our European flights,” Joyce said on the sidelines of the 5th annual Asia Pacific Low-Cost Airline Congress yesterday.
“It could be any of the five airports that we are looking at currently and we expect to make a decision by year-end.”
Joyce said the factors that the airline would consider for selection of its hub were economics, cost of operations, infrastructure, traffic rights and scale (traffic volumes and cost).
Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd managing director Datuk Seri Bashir Ahmad said: “We are always confident (of being considered) or we would not have put in a bid.
“We are looking forward to them using KLIA as a hub as we have a lot of plusses. It would be good news if KLIA gets it.”
KLIA is competing with airports in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Bangkok to be the hub for this Melbourne-based low-cost carrier that now flies three times weekly from Sydney to KLIA.
Jetstar will use the hub for its European flights, which it expects to launch in May 2009. That will be after it gets delivery of the B787 aircraft it has ordered. Athens and Rome are destinations that top the list for its European launch.
It seeks to become a pan-Asian carrier and wants to fly to countries such as Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines when it gets its new aircraft.
The airline has ordered 15 B787 aircraft and the first should be delivered in May 2009.
Yesterday, Jetstar announced its short-haul international operations between Asia and Australia with the start of a daily Singapore-Darwin-Melbourne service from April 17, subject to regulatory approvals