Jetstar Japan Unveils A321LRs Cabin Configuration, Plans to Receive the First Airframe in Mid-2020

Jetstar Japan is set to receive three Airbus A321LR aircraft starting from mid-2020.

Today, the airline revealed more details about the aircraft’s configuration.

Jetstar Japan A321LR Cabin
A rendering of Jetstar Japan’s A321LR Cabin. (Credit: Jetstar Japan)

Jetstar Japan’s Upcoming Airbus A321LRs

Jetstar’s parent, Qantas, placed an order for 18 Airbus A321LR aircraft back in 2018. While most of the aircraft will join Jetstar in Australia, three will be delivered to the company’s subsidiary in Japan. All of them will be powered by a pair of CFM Leap 1A engines.

These aircraft will start joining Jetstar Japan’s current fleet of 25 Airbus A320s in mid-2020.

When revealing the details of the configuration today, Masaru Kataoka, Jetstar Japan’s CEO,  said the following about the new aircraft type:

With the new aircraft which will be the key to our further growth, we intend to continue providing low fares and a pleasant experience to as many customers as possible.

The airline plans to configure its A321LRs with 238 Recaro seats. The seats are expected to offer between 28 inches (for standard seats) and 39 inches (for extra legroom seats) of seat pitch.

Jetstar Japan plans to equip each of the seats (other than a small number of bulkhead and other “special” seats) with a USB charging port and a personal electronic device holder.

Jetstar Japan A321LR Seats
Recaro seats. (Credit: Jetstar Japan)
Jetstar Japan A321LR USB
The seat’s USB charging port and device holder. (Credit: Jetstar Japan)

Potential Jetstar Japan A321LR Routes

Currently, the airline based at Tokyo Narita – and having a significant presence at Osaka Kansai – operates mainly domestic flights around Japan. That said, it also serves four international destinations including:

  • Hong Kong out of Tokyo Narita
  • Manila out of Tokyo Narita, Osaka Kansai, and Nagoya Centrair
  • Shanghai Pudong out of Tokyo Narita
  • Taipei Taoyuan out of Tokyo Narita and (seasonally) Osaka Kansai

With the A321LR offering considerably longer range – about 3,000 nautical miles when accounting for fuel reserves, etc. – the airline will be able to serve more destinations in Southeast Asia.

Countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam will be well within the airline’s reach from its Tokyo Narita base as well as Osaka and Nagoya.

That said, according to ch-aviation, the airline intends to initially use the new type on domestic routes.

Jetstar A321LR Range
Jetstar Japan’s current international destinations. The light area represents area serviceable by the A321LR out of Narita. (Credit: Great Circle Mapper)

While Jetstar’s home country – Australia – will remain out of Jetstar Japan’s range, that is not a problem for the airline.

The Australian Jetstar is already serving Japan using its 787s, and the airline already placed an order for the even longer-range A321XLRs to be delivered starting in 2024. Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO said that the A321XLR can:

…fly routes like Cairns-Tokyo or Melbourne-Singapore, which existing narrow-bodies can’t, and that changes the economics of lots of potential routes into Asia to make them not just physically possible but financially attractive.

He added that it is not yet known which of the Jetstar group’s airlines the aircraft will be assigned to.

Summary

While a 28-inch seat pitch is quite tight, it’s also fairly standard with low-cost airlines. As such, it is nice to see Jetstar Japan try improving the onboard experience at least a little bit by adding USB charging ports and device holders to the A321LR seats.

Considering that – once the airline expands its Southeast Asian network – the aircraft will be used on fairly long, five- or six-hour flights, the USB ports are especially welcome as they will allow passengers to watch movies or TV shows without having to worry about their devices’ battery life.

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