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Asia and Europe in Jetstar's flight path
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Australian no-frills carrier Jetstar Airways will start a daily, one-stop service between Singapore and the southern Australian city of Melbourne, the company's chief executive said yesterday.


Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas Airways Ltd, is also planning to establish an Asian hub for its planned long-haul operations between Australia and Europe, Alan Joyce said on the sidelines of an aviation conference in Singapore.


"We are focused on developing it through one hub initially," Joyce said. "We hope that there will be multiple daily services by the time this is finished."


The airline is deciding which of five Asian cities - Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City or Kuala Lumpur - it will use as a transit point.


Joyce also said Jetstar's deliberations on its expansion into Europe have been slowed by the recently announced delays in the delivery of Boeing's new 787 plane.


Jetstar is looking at flying to Athens and Rome, Joyce said, but is considering other factors as well in choosing destinations.


"We haven't made a decision on that, because economic conditions could change a lot in the next year," he said. "Then we have to make a judgment call depending on which markets look like they have the potential when we get closer to it.


"And unfortunately, with the 787 delays, it just pushed that decision back by a few months."


Jetstar now doesn't expect to get its first 787 until May 2009 - delayed from August this year - so services to Europe aren't likely to start until late next year or early 2010.


Boeing Co last week said the inaugural flight of the 787 will face even further delays.


(Shanghai Daily January 24, 2008)


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