Jetstar Prepares For Inaugural Passenger Airbus A321LR Flight On August 12th

The first A321LR for Jetstar recently arrived in Australia from Germany via India, with 17 more aircraft to arrive. The first example, registered VH-OFE, is getting ready for its initial revenue-generating scheduled route. This will be from Melbourne to Cairns, in the far north of tourist state Queensland, on August 12th.

Jetstar’s first two A321LR routes

The latest OAG data, now reflected in Jetstar’s booking engine, shows that the carrier will initially fly 1x daily between Melbourne and Cairns. From September 1st, it’ll fly 1x daily from Melbourne to Gold Coast. The plan, the latest available when writing , is outlined below.

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  1. Melbourne to Cairns: 1x daily, JQ938, 06:00-09:20 from August 12th-August 31st. It changes to JQ942 15:10-18:30 from September 1st. last day of the Southern Hemisphere winter season. From October 30th until nearly Christmas, it’ll reduce to 4x weekly, with different times/numbers
  2. Cairns to Melbourne: 1x daily, JQ941, 10:10-13:35, shifting to JQ945 19:20-22:45 from September 1st, and both at different times in October.From October 30th until nearly Christmas, it’ll reduce to 4x weekly , with different times/numbers
  3. Melbourne to Gold Coast: 1x daily, JQ434, 08:00-10:05 from September 1st, changing to JQ432 08:55-10:00 from October 30th
  4. Gold Coast to Melbourne: 1x daily, JQ439, 10:55-13:15 from September 1st, changing to JQ437 10:50-14:05 from October 30th


Jetstar’s first LR. Photo: Michael Doran I Simple Flying.

A look at its A321LRs

Jetstar’s LRs have 232 seats in an all-economy layout, near the maximum limit. It is believed that VH-OFE will be joined by eight more aircraft between August 2022 and May 2023, with the remaining examples due to be delivered by mid-2024 It also has 20 XLRs set to arrive from 2024 to 2029.

Aside from much better fuel consumption than A320/A321ceos, they will obviously be far quieter than those aircraft and have more storage space and other attributes. trip costs than Jetstar’s B787s. And the LR/XLRs will, of course, also offer a notably longer range than Jetstar’s older Airbus narrowbodies.

While Airbus proclaims a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles (4,603mi/7,408km) for the LR, the real-world reality will be notably lower. That’s especially the case with Jetstar’s higher-density configuration, any particularly bad winter winds, much across-water flying, heat, airport elevation, and so on. Let’s say a maximum range of 3,400nm (3,912mi, 4,297km), which might be excessive, especially with its 232-seat layout.

The 3,400nm range of Jetstar’s A321LRs. In reality, its high-density cabin could mean that not even this is possible. Image: GCMap.

Where internationally?

Jetstar has said that it’ll mainly use the LR domestically. Yes, it’ll benefit from greater fuel efficiency and the higher number of seats per flight, especially at peak times, but domestic routes won’t need the range. Clearly, the LR will be used on internationally at some point. “it opens up opportunities to expand our international network across the Asia-Pacific region.”

Assuming a 3,400nm limit, the LR could serve as far as Japan from Cairns, an important and long-served market for Jetstar. It’d be limited to Southeast Asia from Gold Coast, Sydney, and Melbourne, not even reaching southern Thailand from Melbourne. From Perth, as far as southern China and Sri Lanka/southern India. In reality, it’s more about Southeast Asia and the bottom half of Northeast Asia.

Where would you like Jetstar to use its LRs?

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