One year on – A321neo is a gamechanger for Jetstar

Tailplane of Jetstar A321neo aircraft.
Photo Credit: Jetstar
Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

A year ago this week, Jetstar welcomed its first state-of-the-art A321neo LR to Melbourne. Since then, a total of nine NEOs have been added to the fleet, and the remaining 18 LRs are set to be delivered by the end of 2024.

In addition, Jetstar plans to incorporate five more LRs and 15 A321neo XLR (extra-long range) aircraft into its fleet by 2029.

The arrival of the new aircraft has proved to be a gamechanger in terms of growth potential and sustainability according to the airline.

Fuel efficiency and environmental impact

One of the most significant advantages of the NEO is its improved fuel efficiency. The aircraft’s CFM Leap A1 engines burn up to 20 per cent less fuel compared to Jetstar’s earlier A321 models.

As a result, in the first year of flying, the airline’s current NEO fleet has contributed to a reduction of over 16,000 tonnes of emissions – equivalent to taking 3500 cars off the road.

This substantial decrease in emissions aligns with the Qantas Group’s commitment to reducing its overall carbon footprint.


Moreover, the NEO’s advanced engineering also translates into a quieter flying experience. The aircraft is up to 50 per cent quieter than Jetstar’s existing A320 and A321 planes, benefiting passengers and minimizing noise pollution during takeoff and landing.

New routes and destinations

The introduction of the NEOs has enabled Jetstar to expand its network by offering more low-fare options to exciting new destinations.

Additionally, the extended range of the single-aisle aircraft has allowed the airline to enhance capacity and frequency on popular routes, such as the ever-popular Bali.

The NEOs have also freed up the airline’s Boeing 787 fleet, enabling it to reach more distant locations.

Over the past year, Jetstar has announced or launched seven new international routes, adding to its ever-growing list of destinations:

  1. Sydney to Seoul – 2 November 2022
  2. Brisbane to Auckland – 27 March 2023
  3. Sydney to Rarotonga – 29 June 2023
  4. Brisbane to Narita (Tokyo) – 31 October 2023
  5. Melbourne to Fiji – 16 December 2023
  6. Brisbane to Seoul – 1 February 2024
  7. Brisbane to Osaka (Kansai) – 2 February 2024

Performance and reliability

Apart from expanding its route network, the NEOs have also played a crucial role in enhancing Jetstar’s operational performance. These aircraft operate both domestic and international routes and have achieved an impressive 99.8 per cent mechanical reliability in their first year of service, surpassing the NEO world fleet average.

According to data from the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE), Jetstar achieved the highest on-time arrival rate among major domestic carriers in June.

The airline’s domestic cancellation rate has dropped to 3.7 per cent, and its on-time performance has increased to 66.2 per cent. Jetstar has consistently maintained this strong performance throughout July.

Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully comments

Jetstar Group CEO, Stephanie Tully, speaks highly of the NEOs, referring to them as true game-changers for the airline.

The longer-range, highly fuel-efficient aircraft have not only contributed to the Qantas Group’s emissions reduction targets but have also enabled Jetstar to provide affordable fares to a wider range of destinations.

Passengers have shown appreciation for the NEOs, praising their quieter cabins, spacious overhead bins, and wider seats.

Additionally, customers can enjoy personalized entertainment by streaming content on their own devices during flights.

As Jetstar commemorates the one-year anniversary of the NEO’s arrival, the airline is celebrating by offering more than 400,000 fares across over 90 routes, starting from just $29. This commitment aligns with Jetstar’s promise to provide 10 million fares under $100 by Christmas.

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