Jetstar Announces Beijing Route to Tap Rising Chinese Demand

Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd., the budget unit of Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN), plans to add a daily service between Melbourne and Beijing later this year to tap rising travel demand in China.

Beijing will be the low-cost carrier’s ninth Chinese destination amid a recent route expansion in the country, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement today. The service is due to open Nov. 24 and will have capacity for 8,000 passengers a week, the statement said.

The expansion is part of Jetstar’s move to tap China’s middle class, which may increase to 300 million in five years, Jetstar Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said at a Beijing news conference. Melbourne saw 27 percent more Chinese citizen arrivals in the last year, the company said in a separate statement on its website.

Jetstar plans to have as many as 12 routes to China by the end of the year, Buchanan said.

The airline said last week that it would offer flights to the city of Ningbo in China’s coastal Zhejiang province. Its current Chinese destinations also include Haikou, Shantou, Guilin and Hangzhou.

Jetstar will use the 310-seat Airbus A330 on the Beijing- Melbourne route, the website statement said.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vipin Nair at vnair12@bloomberg.net

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