Singapore-based low-cost carrier Jetstar Asia hopes the Asian air travel market is poised for a very strong recovery.
The Asia region lags behind the US and European travel markets, where vaccination rates are higher and travel restrictions weaker, but Jetstar Asia CEO Barathan Pasupathi said: “We believe we are at the dawn of a solid aerial cycle”. He was speaking yesterday at the Asia Aerospace Leadership Forum in Singapore organized by Aviation Week.
Pasupathi says, “Today we do almost 100 sectors a week. Load factors are slowly increasing. It’s not where it’s in Europe, USA, China or India, but we believe in keeping fares affordable so that when the market recovers, leisure travel will explode.
He says there is very high pent-up demand for Visitor, Friends and Relative (VFR) and Leisure traffic.
Pasupathi says the Airbus A320 operator is preparing for recovery by stepping up recurrent training for its pilots.
He also says that the airline already has flights that are fully booked because Jetstar Asia may be a low-cost carrier, serving point-to-point, but it is also a hub carrier through Singapore, which allows it to benefit transit traffic. Singapore has, for example, allowed Indonesians to transit through Singapore.
Pasupathi says one challenge airlines face is convincing passengers to book and pay for plane tickets in advance, as the pandemic has caused a lot of uncertainty among travellers.
He says people used to book plane tickets 30 or 60 days in advance, but now reservations are made the same day or just before. To convince people to book, airlines need to provide flexibility so people can change their bookings, says Pasupathi, adding that it’s also important for airlines to provide information to passengers – when they book their flights. tickets – about travel restrictions and destination requirements. .
Photo Shows: Audience view when Barathan Pasupathi was speaking.