JETSTAR Asia, an affiliate of Australia's low-cost carrier the Jetstar group, is looking at stronger footprint in Malaysia by providing more frequencies from its hub in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Chief executive officer Barathan Pasupathi said the airline has the opportunity to increase flight frequencies into those markets that it currently operate in, as well as looking at select new markets.
For its Malaysia market, Jetstar Asia flies from Changi International Airport (Singapore) to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Penang International Airport, and vice versa. It first started flying to Malaysia in 2008.
Although being a low-cost carrier, the airline does not fly to the low-cost carrier terminal (LCCT) as it wants to provide convenience to its passengers, especially via the express rail link (ERL) train to connect from the airport to the city.
However, Pasupathi said Jetstar Asia will move to the new LCCT, klia2, once it begins operating in June,
"That is definitely something that we are looking forward to because it basically has the same conveniences as the main terminal at KLIA.
"As long as our customers' convenience is there and it is easy for them to connect to the city, we will definitely move to klia2," he told Business Times recently.
When asked about the possibility of adding Sabah and Sarawak as Jetstar Asia's new destinations, he said that it is something the airline is looking at very closely as the markets are interesting and "the growth there is just booming".
"But our immediate target is to focus on Kuala Lumpur and Penang by boosting flight frequencies and adding more seats into this market, and connecting these routes to our network into and out of Singapore," said Pasupathi.
As of October last year, Jetstar Asia has increased its capacity to key and emerging markets across its Southeast Asian network by 70,000 extra seats for services from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Phuket and Yangon.
Jetstar Asia is operating 61 weekly return services between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and, thus, providing customers with more timely connections to popular services through Singapore to Manila, Perth and Taipei.
The airline currently has a daily return service between Singapore and Penang and Pasupathi said there is a potential to add more services over the next few months.
Jetstar Asia started its operations in December 2004 and currently operates more than 400 weekly flights to 24 destinations across 13 countries in the Asia Pacific region.
It flies from its hub in Singapore to Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand and Thailand, among others.
The airline carried about 3.4 million passengers last year and expects to carry four million passengers this year.
As at December 2012, Jetstar Asia has 18 Airbus A320 aircraft and the carrier expects to have a minimum of 19 A320s by year-end.
The carrier received the first of six new A320s in October last year as part of its fleet rejuvenation programme.