Jetstar’s new A321neo will raise the bar for passenger experience and allow it to keep offering the low fares that customers look for.
Jetstar’s new Airbus A321neo, which came to Melbourne yesterday, will bring a new level of comfort to low airfare travel in Australia. That’s according to Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans and after being among the first onboard reporters is apt to agree with him.
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans
Officially welcoming the Airbus A321neo was Airbus Head of Sales Pacific Marie-Frédérique Romain and Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans. Once the ceremonies were over, could see what the new cabin looked like and how Jetstar had tailored it to exceed anything currently available in the Australian low-airfare market.
Reporters questioned Evans about how important these features are to customers when choosing a carrier. He said to us, “Passengers always know when they are on a new aircraft, and that’s always a positive.”
“I believe what we’re doing from a customer perspective is going to be important and they will notice the tweaks and adjustments, like the bigger bins and USB ports. But ultimately they just want to get from A to B and to know they have got good low fares, and this aircraft with its low-cost base and reduced fuel burn enable us to offer great low costs, so people can travel more, and that’s what customers want.”
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Jetstar will operate the A321LR in a single class
The A321neo has the widest interior of any single-aisle aircraft and gives that space back to passengers with wider seats. As a low-fare airline with Qantas as a parent, Jetstar will work the A321LR in a single class, the 3-by-3 layout of 232 seats, 46 more than what it can carry on its existing A320ceo fleet. The black seats with orange piping have a pitch of 74 centimeters (29 inches), except for the exits rows, and a width of 45.7 cms (17.7 in).
Struggling to find space for carry-on bags is not only stressful but can also contribute to late departures. The A321neo overhead bins are 40% larger than standard and permit bags to be stored upright, creating even more room. Jetstar has made it much safer for travelers who bring their electronic devices onboard, with a neat holder on the seatback.
Also, there is no fumbling about looking for the USB power or attaching the charging cord because the unit sits at around eye-level on the seatback. Having the charging outlet close and in the same location as the device means no loose cords are dangling between the seat and seatback.
In another first, Jetstar has installed a digital streaming service, with content selected to match the flight length the aircraft is working.
To connect, it’s as simple as putting the device into flight mode, selecting the Jetstar entertainment app, scanning a QR code, and browsing for something that suits your taste.
Jetstar has added more ‘child-friendly’ programs
There is no requirement to download anything before the flight, and with content changed every 2 months, the options will include new releases not yet available to all streaming services. As a leisure carrier, Jetstar has added more ‘child-friendly’ programs, such as from Disney, and it also integrates popular games into the onboard system.
Mood lighting is another feature that long-haul passengers will have experienced, with the A321neo crew having all the colors of the rainbow to choose between. The crew shifted colors from a soothing blue to a soft green and a vibrant pink that would not have looked out of place at a dance party.
The A321neo is a great step forward for the Asia-Pacific region, and with Jetstar adding 18 in 2022/2023, followed by 20 A321XLRs, it will soon become the accepted standard. How much do you think about the passenger experience when shopping for holiday fares?
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