Low-cost Singapore-based airline Jetstar Asia has confirmed it is maintaining a limited network of nine regional cities from Changi between now and the end of April 2021, with over 80 weekly flights planned, while at the same time extending the validity period of its travel vouchers for flights departing until the end of 2023, in light of the prolonged COVID-19 recovery.
Jetstar is also now permitted to accept transit passengers originating in Clark and Manila on its own services through Changi Airport, opening up network-wide regional connectivity options.
March and April 2021
Jetstar will maintain nine passenger routes to and from Changi over the next two months.
Flight frequencies have increased on some of these services since our last update outlining the January 2021 schedule, as follows.
|Ho Chi Minh||5/wk||5/wk|
Overall Jetstar will operate 84 services per week to and from Singapore during March and April 2021. Note that Singapore – Ho Chi Minh flights are cargo-only services, carrying passengers solely on their return to Singapore.
Prior to COVID-19, the airline was operating around 600 flights per week, so it has returned to around 14% of previous capacity by flight volumes. Passenger numbers remain very low, with recent Qantas results showing Jetstar Asia carried only 18,000 passengers in the last six months of 2020, a 99% reduction on the usual 2.2 million.
Load factor was 18.4%, down from 81.5%.
Jetstar Asia already announced its intention to operate with a smaller fleet of 13 Airbus A320s post-COVID, having previously had a fleet of 18.
What happened to Yangon?
Both Jetstar and Singapore Airlines had planned to restart passenger services to and from Yangon on 18th January 2021, however neither carrier was actually able to launch these flights.
Since then, political issues in Myanmar have likely put pay to the plan in any event, but instead of reducing to eight destinations Jetstar restarted its Bangkok service in February 2021, a route previously restarted last summer but then suspended again in September 2020.
Jetstar is still loading twice weekly Singapore – Yangon flights into its schedule during April 2021, though we haven’t listed these in the table above.
Transit approvals widened
With Singapore now approving those starting their journey in the Philippines to transit through Changi Airport, Jetstar passengers originating in Clark and Manila can now connect onto the carrier’s other flights, provided their transit time is less than 48 hours.
This opens up all nine of the airline’s current cities as valid origin and destination points for transit passengers, subject to the entry requirements of the final destination.
Those with longer connections can book one of the two transit hotels at Changi Airport as an alternative to remaining in the transit holding area, if preferred.
Travel vouchers have been extended
Unlike Singapore Airlines and Scoot, Jetstar Asia customers were not given the option of a cash refund after flight cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Instead only a credit voucher towards a future Jetstar flight was offered, meaning many of our readers are still sitting on these, waiting for travel to rebound. Vouchers were initially valid for 6 months, later extended to 12 months.
The good news is that Jetstar has again extended the validity of these vouchers, which can now be redeemed against future bookings made by 31st December 2022.
Since Jetstar flights are bookable one year in advance, this means the vouchers can be used for flight departure dates up to 31st December 2023, almost three years from now.
Vouchers are valid for multiple bookings across the Jetstar network, so any outstanding credit remaining from one booking can be used towards another.
Free date change
If you book a Jetstar Asia (3K) flight through the Jetstar website between now and 30th June 2021, for travel before 30th September 2021, Jetstar will waive the change fee if you decide to change your date of travel.
You’ll still need to cover any fare difference in your new booking.
Flexible award bookings
As part of the Qantas “Flexible Classic Flight Rewards” policy, if you use your Qantas Frequent Flyer points to book any Qantas or Jetstar flight before 30th April 2021, you can change your plans until 31st January 2022.
- If you change your travel dates, Qantas will waive the change fee.
- If you decide to cancel, Qantas will waive the cancellation fee. The total Qantas Points used and any taxes, fees and carrier charges paid will be refunded.
Qantas Frequent Flyer rates on Jetstar Asia
One caveat is that redeeming Qantas points on Jetstar flights isn’t usually good value, because flights with higher fares are generally not made available as Classic Rewards.
What if your Jetstar flight has been cancelled?
Jetstar is continuing to offer travel credit vouchers to customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Request your voucher through the Manage My Booking portal here, by following these steps:
- Enter your booking number and last name
- Click on the ‘find out more’ button
- Select ‘check flight options’ button
- Click ‘view other options’ button
- Select ‘request reimbursement’
As with the existing (extended) vouchers, these travel credits are multi-use and can be redeemed up to the value stated across any number of Jetstar bookings, by 31st December 2022. A fare difference, if any, will apply. Customers will receive a voucher within two weeks of making the request.
If you booked through a travel agent or third-party website, you’ll need to contact them directly.
No major network changes for Jetstar Asia in the coming months, though there continue to be some progressive frequency increases with Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur leading the pack at 10 and nine flights per week respectively.
Transit options through Changi Airport have also been extended to cover the airline’s entire current network, with the addition of Clark and Manila as valid origin points for these passengers.
Finally it’s good news if you have Jetstar vouchers from a COVID-19 flight refund, with validity now extended to 31st December 2022, meaning bookings for flights operating between now and 31st December 2023 will be possible.
(Cover Photo: 1000 Words / Shutterstock)