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Jetstar ups capacity

LOW-COST carrier Jetstar has expanded its domestic offering for the Perth market, adding two extra services out of Perth commencing in February 2009.

Currently flying double-daily between Perth and Melbourne, Jetstar will add a daily Perth-Adelaide service and three time a week Perth-Cairns service early next year.

Starting from February 2 2009, Jetstar will launch a daily Perth-Adelaide service, in addition to the existing Qantas five times daily services.

The extra flights are expected to increase the total capacity on the route for the group to more than 2,400 seats each week.

The Perth-Cairns service, starting February 6 2009, will be operated by an Airbus 320 aircraft and will replace Qantas' existing twice-weekly Boeing 737 service.

This will result in an increase in seat capacity on the Perth-Cairns route by about 58 per cent.

Jetstar entered the Perth market in March 2006 when it commenced its first flights from Perth to Melbourne, with 14 flights a week now running between the two cities.

The announcement of increased domestic capacity comes as the low-cost airline launched the first of its international services from Perth to Denpasar this week.

The airline will also launch its Perth-Jakarta and Perth-Singapore services later in the year.

Jetstar has experienced strong growth in passenger numbers this year, despite an overall downturn in the global aviation market.

The low-cost airline's domestic passenger numbers for August were up 11.2 per cent on the same period last year, with international passenger numbers up 40 per cent on August 2007.

Parent company Qantas' domestic passenger numbers were down 6.2 per cent for the month of August compared to the same period last year, with international passenger numbers down 6.4 per cent.

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