THE rampant growth of Jetstar continues with the low cost carrier announcing 77 new weekly return flights, mostly from Sydney and Melbourne, to key leisure destinations. The Gold Coast is the big winner with 35 extra weekly services, while Cairns, hard hit by the inbound visitor slump, gets 18 additional flights a week. There are also new flights to Townsville, Newcastle and Launceston. When the dust settles, Jetstar will exceed 50% market share on the Gold Coast and have two-thirds of total capacity into the Sunshine Coast and Newcastle. Jetstar, which now claims 18% total domestic market share, is also bumping international flights to Phuket. Meanwhile, CEO Bruce Buchanan said Jetstar is the most profitable airline in the region, a clear dig at low cost rival Tiger Airways, which has just announced a loss in the Australian market for the 12 months to March 31, 2009, of A$50.1m. Ouch.
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