How Big Can Jetstar Grow?

Travelers looking for flight bargains around South East Asia would be very familiar with the brand Jetstar.

jetstar 787 dreamliner
Jetstar operate a number of Boeing 787 Dreamliners

Also known as the Jetstar group, Jetstar Airways is a low-cost carrier that operates throughout several different regions, from Australia to Vietnam to Japan. Owned by Qantas, they have seen rapid expansion across the region and competing directly with local LCC offerings and international giants (Such as AirAsia).

Part of their business model is to move into domestic markets and partner with local owners. These investors bring the financing whilst Jetstar brings Australian airline operation know-how. This also allows Jetstar to operate around foreign ownership restrictions and keep the ventures capital light (Essentially by having their foreign fleet off the main Qantas books, it allows the parent company more flexibility with its capital operations.

How big is Jetstar today?

Jetstar was founded in 2003 to bring low-cost travel to Australia (And let Qantas shift their jets to more profitable routes). The expanded to international routes in 2005 by flying to New Zeland.

Today they operate many international routes, ferrying holidaymakers from Australia to Asia, as well as select routes to the USA.


The Jetstar Group consists of the following airlines:

Country Airline Callsign Date joined group Fleet size Qantas owners % Other owners %
Australia Jetstar Airways Jetstar 2003[48] 77[28] 100%
New Zealand
Singapore Jetstar Asia Airways Jetstar Asia 2004[49] 18[50] 49%[51] Westbrook Investments (51%)
Valuair Valuair 2005[52] Note 2
Vietnam Jetstar Pacific Airlines Pacific 2007[53] 14[54] 30%[55] Vietnam Airlines (70%)
Japan Jetstar Japan Orange Liner 2011[56] 21[54] 33.3%[57] Japan Airlines (33.3%)
Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation (16.7%)
Mitsubishi Corporation (16.7%)

They have a combined fleet of 71 planes, with another 99 on order.


What are the future plans of Jetstar?

On 7 December 2005, it was announced that Jetstar would establish the world’s first global low-cost airline.

Thirteen years later in 2018, Jetstar has expanded to five regions. They attempted to move into Hong Kong and operate from the famous port city (With China Eastern) but failed to get going due to a revoked airline license. The 11 planes that were ordered for that airline were transferred to other regions.

Jetstar Japan is currently their biggest growth region.

“Japan is really exciting. Low-Cost Carriers have about 10% of the aviation market in Japan” and are “providing very good competition to bullet trains and buses.” – Jetstar, CEO Jayne Hrdlicka

Jetstar is now looking towards China, with a growing middle class, there is ample opportunity to expand into the tourism trade in the country.

Jetstar sees massive opportunity to grow in china.

“Mainland China has immense potential for Jetstar’s low fares offering and the broader Jetstar Group network connections” – Jetstar Asia and Valuair Chief Executive Officer Ms Chong Phit Lian

If the Australian low-cost carrier can make headway into China, there is no telling how big they can grow. With a predicted 100 million airline passengers a year waiting to take off, the local Chinese market is a prize too big to pass up.