HNL is actually a great example to use to demonstrate how the QF/JQ long-haul dynamic has changed in recent years.
Until 2014, QF operated 3wk 763 to HNL while JQ operated up to 19wk A330 seasonally. In 2019, JQ had shrunk down to 8wk 788 while QF had grown to 7wk 744 during peak periods.
The comparison in Japan is even more stark. For a long time, QF operated just 7wk flights to TYO while JQ operated up to 28wk A330/788s. By 2019, JQ had shrunk down to 15wk 788 while QF operated as many as 29wk flights across TYO, KIX and CTS using 744s and A330s.
QF has also entered short-haul international leisure markets like DPS and NAN. They have similarly moved in on domestic routes that were once JQ mainstays. You have to be blind not to see the trend here.
JQ has been clear in their intention to transition the mid-haul international network to the A321LR which displaces the bulk of the 788 fleet. Does it really make sense to hang onto a handful of aircraft to continue to service long-haul routes where they compete with their parent company (which, incidentally, has been growing in many of those markets for the last few years)?
And JQ does not offer a cargo service. Their cargo space is managed by QF Freight, which doesn't care if the plane has JQ or QF colours. The overall cargo space remains the same (or even grows) across the Group which is all that matters.
When did JQ offer 19 weekly flights to HNL ? I can't even remember them offering daily out of SYD, with maybe the exception of a couple of school holiday periods.
Japan used to be a package tourist market out of Japan, JQ was perfect for it. Over time the package market out of Japan has decreased, Australia became too expensive, you just have to have alook at how the Japanese airlines cut their services to Australia. Business travel and tourism out of Australia in the meantime has picked, that's a QF market. Still a far cry from the late 90's when QF sent daily 747's to NRT from SYD and CNS, NGO from SYD/CNS, FUK had several flights a week and then KIX when it opened. The number of seats QF/JQ offered before the lock downs to Japan would barely have increased over those 2 decades. Just a point as well, those 747's to Japan in that period had almost as many seats on them as the 380 does now.
QF going into DPS and NAN has not resulted in any lowering of JQ service to those same destinations. I would also hazard to guess that the only difference that happened when QF cut the 747 to HNL for the 330, was that award seats got harder to get.
QF may market the freight capacity on JQ flights, but an aircraft that isn't going to be able to carry any freight, or maybe 1 or 2 tons, is a big hit in revenue potential to an aircraft that may have been able to carry 15 tons. At todays cargo rates, that is a lot of potential revenue to be left behind. Of course they could always find another way to get it to it's destination, but the instant it's not on their own aircraft, it's become more expensive and harder to compete with other carriers.
Fundamentally, what argument are you making? Other than Jetstar currently fly long haul so must always fly long haul, I can’t discern a logical basis for your position.
The Japanese market in the 1990s, prior to the 1997 recession, is utterly meaningless. The Japanese market was fundamentally different then, so it shouldn’t be a shock if capacity is flat - or down - over the past two decades. You even acknowledge that the market (pre-Covid) was moving from inbound to outbound, which surely supports the notion that there is less need for Jetstar capacity to Gold Coast and Cairns?
As for Honolulu, I can’t recall 19 weekly flights (I’m happy to be corrected but I thought the peak was daily SYD, five weekly MEL, 3 weekly BNE) but there was definitely a shift from JQ to QF metal over five or so years. Even taking out the 747s, the move from 3x 767 to 5-6x A330 doubled QF capacity. JQ shrunk in the market over the same timeframe. As an aside, HNL was always hard to find award availability on QF, but JQ generally had good availability outside of school holidays.
I acknowledge that QF metal DPS and NAN hasn’t come at the expense of JQ (if anything VA were the big loser) but NAN was always an A320 route so irrelevant to the current discussion, and DPS will be better served by multiple A321s. I’m not sure how that supports your proposition that JQ require 787s.
I think you are overstating the importance of cargo to Jetstar’s international routes. Jetstar do carry a lot of cargo for Qantas Freight domestically, but their international network does not really support cargo. Arguably the exception was SGN. Relatively little cargo to Indonesia is arriving through DPS, and very little (if any?) cargo from Japan is arriving through OOL.
You mention that Jetstar won’t be able to serve Korea and North Asia, other than from CNS. My response to that is do we have any idea that would be profitable? Or more profitable than the alternative uses for those aircraft? Unless there are vast untapped profits to be made (doubtful), Jetstar being unable to serve those markets would not be a concern on a group-wide basis. Vietnam appeared to be a good market for them, but other than that JQ have never stuck with anything other than DPS/HKT/HNL and Queensland-Japan. They’ve tried Singapore several times, there was the Zhengzhou charter, immediately before Covid they planned Seoul, but I’m not convinced that would have been a success. Outside of their core markets for Australian outbound and Japanese inbound leisure, SGN is really the only market that has worked for them. Even those core markets were rarely daily, other than DPS. This doesn’t suggest that Jetstar long haul was raking in profits.
My point, well, that the 321LR/XLR can't replace all the 787's at JQ, IF
JQ were to keep the same routes they had before the pandemic. Of course JQ don't need to keep the long haul flights to HNL/NRT/KIX/SEL, etc, they may just stick to the regional flying from Australia and the 321's will be sufficient. You just get the feeling that JQ/QF management saw JQ flying to Southern Europe, India, the U.S. mainland by this stage in it's development. That the SIN base would've had more impact and there would've been flights that needed the 787 capacity, none of that has eventuated.
The Japan comparison was relevant to the post I was replying too. It showed that the market can change dramatically, the targeted consumer changed and that while before the pandemic there were arguably more Australia/Japan flights than ever before, the actual number of seats available is probably less than the 90's. JQ without 787's can still be a player, it may depend if the QLD government are keen to keep direct flights to Japan or not.
HNL, I think you maybe getting your time lines wrong with the QF 747. When JQ started their HNL flights, QF kept the 3 weekly 763's with the occasional 4th weekly. When the 763's were retired they switched to the 330's and as HNL became more popular again, QF increased their services. The rise of HNL also brought HA to Australia, along with increased JQ services. The QF 330's were then replaced with 747, until they were withdrawn and it reverted back to the 330. The period of the 747 was when reward seats were plentiful. JQ did a lot of the work in making HNL popular and affordable again, it was a near dead market when they started, best served by NZ through AKL, they built it up and QF and HA capitalised on it.
You can never underestimate the importance of cargo to any airline, let alone QF. If QF have capacity to sell space on a JQ flight, they well do their best to sell it. No airline is going to waste a chance to uplift a paying load because it isn't their core business. As business starts to ramp up, it's going to be even more important.
As for Northern Asia, who knows, but if they get rid of the 787's we'll probably never find out either.
I think JQ Australia is really at a crossroads at the moment. Besides N.Z. DPS, NAN and maybe Japan through CNS, with the 320/321 where else are they going too fly ? They've shown little interest in flying to other Pacific Islands. Does the HNL flying just stay with QF and possibly the Japan flying as well ? What to do with all those aircraft on order ? Replace older aircraft, replace some/all of the 787 flying to at least medium haul destinations, some go to Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan, maybe some to QF itself, a lot of the remaining fleet isn't that old so no need to replace them near term at least. I suspect some of the questions will be answered when the new fleet type for QF is announced.