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The situation reflects a growing trend in which a low-cost carrier outcompetes larger, more traditional airlines that once ruled the market. But in this case, Qantas Group wins no matter who’s in the lead.
Jetstar Airways is on the cusp of overtaking parent Qantas as the bigger airline by international passenger numbers as the LCC subsidiary continues its relentless growth in both the Australian domestic and international markets.
Jetstar grew both its domestic demand and capacity in Nov-2012 compared to the same month a year ago, while Qantas mainline demand, excluding QantasLink, was flat on a modest increase in capacity.
The story is even more pronounced on the international routes where Jetstar put in double digit-growth for both measures and Qantas continues to fall away. If the current trend continues, Jetstar could overtake Qantas within six months as the biggest carrier by passengers carried to and from Australia.