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Jetstar to launch flights to Canberra

Jetstar is heading to Canberra with nonstop flights from Brisbane, marking the 1st time the low cost carrier will operate scheduled flights to Australia’s capital.

After 17 years of avoiding Canberra, Jetstar is finally seeing some potential in the Australian capital. Starting 2nd September 2021, Jetstar will fly 5-times-a-week between Brisbane Airport and Canberra Airport using a Airbus A320. The schedule is:

  • Brisbane-Canberra
  • Departure time: 12:00
  • Arrival time: 13:50
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
  • Flight number: JQ656
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
  • Canberra-Brisbane
  • Departure time: 14:30
  • Arrival time: 16:10
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 40 minutes
  • Flight number: JQ657
  • Frequency: Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Gareth Evans, CEO, Jetstar Group, said:

We’re excited to introduce our great low fares to Canberra for the first time in our 17-year history and thank the ACT Government for their support. Our flights will take off in time for Floriade, helping to bring thousands of interstate visitors to one of the major festivals on Canberra’s calendar. With international borders closed, there’s is huge appetite for low fares travel domestically. We know these flights will be really popular and provide a great boost for tourism operators and businesses as visitors explore everything Canberra and the region has to offer.

Andrew Barr, Chief Minister, Australian Capital Territory (ACT), said:

Jetstar’s entry to the Canberra market will not only make travel from South East Queensland to Canberra cheaper and easier but provide a significant opportunity to work with Jetstar to promote our city across their extensive network. Canberrans will win with affordable flights connecting them to popular Queensland holiday destinations, to see family and friends or travel for business.

This will be welcome news for frequent travellers to Canberra who usually have to pay sky-high fares. As Canberra is the country’s capital, the city sees significant government, public service, and business traffic. Canberra is an expensive airport to fly in or out. With many travelers through the airport not paying for their own tickets, that’s not necessarily a problem. Qantas currently is the largest carrier operating to and from Canberra.

A lunchtime and mid-afternoon departure 5-days-a-week is unlikely to lure Qantas’ core government/public service/ business travelers who tend to fly at the start and finish of the day.

The long-held theory is that Jetstar stayed out of Canberra to avoid cannibalizing Qantas’ high-fare paying passengers, particularly those passengers paying for their own tickets, who had no choice but to pay a premium fare, who might have been open to a low-cost alternative.

Jetstar says it will add around 100,000 seats annually to the route, and fares will average between US$99 and US$138 – making Jetstar a better offer who pay for their own tickets.

All in all, Jetstar is finally seeing some potential in the Canberra market and it is good to see Canberra finally getting attention from a low cost carrier.

Featured image by Pinterest

What do you think of Jetstar’s entry into Canberra? Let me know in the comments section below.

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