Jetstar to cut back international flights

 

JETSTAR is the latest airline to announce it will cut back on international flights from Cairns Airport in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after SilkAir confirmed it would be cancelling seven return flights between Cairns and Singapore in May.

Qantas and Jetstar both today announced temporary reductions to flights across Asia due to a drop in demand in the wake of the virus.

Jetstar will cut its capacity to Asia by 14 per cent until at least the end of May.

Jetstar's Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft services the Cairns to Tokyo route. Picture: Brendan Radke.
Jetstar's Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft services the Cairns to Tokyo route. Picture: Brendan Radke.

Cairns' Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka routes will both be reduced by up to two return flights per week.

The airline currently operates daily flights from Cairns to the Japanese destinations using the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

"Coronavirus resulted in the suspension of our flights to mainland China and we're now seeing some secondary impacts with weaker demand on Hong Kong, Singapore and to a lesser extent Japan," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said.

"We know demand into Asia will rebound. And we'll be ready to ramp back up when it does."

Qantas and Jetstar last week announced they would be downsizing domestic services from Cairns Airport.

The Cairns Airport international terminal. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
The Cairns Airport international terminal. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

EARLIER: SilkAir will temporarily reduce its services to and from Cairns due to the novel coronavirus epidemic.

The Singapore Airlines subsidiary has announced that the direct flights, MI812 and MI811, between Cairns and Singapore are affected by the cancellations, prompted by "weak demand".

This includes flights to and from Singapore on the following dates: May 1, 14, 16, 18, 21, 23 and 25.

There is an international travel ban in place between Australia and China due to the threat of coronavirus, known as Covid-19.

The ban has already impacted Cairns' Hainan Airlines services.

Earlier this month, TTNQ chief executive Mark Olsen said Chinese visitors were estimated to contribute more than $25 million a month to the Far North economy.

A SilkAir spokesman said the airline would continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as necessary.

"Singapore Airlines and SilkAir will temporarily reduce services across our network due to weak demand as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak," he said.

The first SilkAir flight to Cairns in 2015, using the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max8 aircraft. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN
The first SilkAir flight to Cairns in 2015, using the now-grounded Boeing 737 Max8 aircraft. PICTURE: STEWART McLEAN

"Affected customers will be notified and re-accommodated onto other flights.

"If you have booked your tickets through a travel agency, please contact your agent for assistance."

SilkAir started its direct service between Cairns and Singapore in 2015, only a few days a week.

The popular route then became a daily service in mid-2019, due to increasing passenger demand.

Those who have booked tickets directly through Singapore Airlines/SilkAir are asked to contact the SIA reservations team at (+65) 6223-8888.


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