A Jetstar plane arriving at Brisbane International Airport. By John Harvey.
Woohoo. 2011 looks set to be a great year for budget travellers, especially those that are looking to get down to Southeast Asia. Australian budget airline Jetstar has announced a new flight that will connect its Singapore hub to Hangzhou from 22 March. The flight frequency will be increased from thrice- to four-times weekly by 27 March.
The Jetstar website is already selling Singapore-Hangzhou flights that start at SGD98 (approximately RMB500) But don’t get all too excited yet. It’s still subject to regulatory approval — and that means good luck getting your money back if Chinese aviation authorities decide to block this flight.
Also, don’t be confused by Jetstar’s marketing of the destination as “Hangzhou (Shanghai)”. The flight is flying into Hangzhou’s Xiaoshan airport, not Pudong airport. This is a gimmick (lie?) that Jetstar has borrowed directly from its arch nemesis, Air Asia, which also wants you to think the two cities are oh-so-close to each other when in fact they’re 180km apart.
Getting from Shanghai to Hangzhou airport and back, however, is not difficult. Buses depart almost daily from the Huangpu Bus Station to the Hangzhou airport and vice versa with one way tickets priced at RMB100 (see schedules here).
Despite the two hours it takes to get you from Shanghai to Hangzhou airport, it could still come up to substantial savings if you have time to spare and can plan ahead. Plus — you’ll be able to take advantage of Jetstar’s Singapore hub to fly on to other exotic Southeast Asian destinations, or even as far as Melbourne, Perth and Auckland.
Check out more airline news here.