Jetstar Airways is an Australian low-cost airline headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It is a subsidiary of Qantas, created in response to the threat posed by low-cost airline Virgin Blue Airlines. The airline operates an extensive domestic network as well as regional and international services from its main base at Melbourne Airport, using a mixed fleet of narrow- and wide-body aircraft. Parent company Qantas also has stakes in sister companies Jetstar Asia Airways and Valuair in Singapore (via its stake in Orange Star); and Jetstar Pacific Airlines in Vietnam.
The airline was established by Qantas in 2003 as a low-cost domestic subsidiary. Qantas had previously acquired Impulse Airlines and operated it under the QantasLink brand from 2001 onwards, but following the decision to launch a low-cost carrier, re-launched the airline under the Jetstar brand. Domestic passenger services began on 25 May 2004, soon after the sale of tickets for her inaugural flight in February 2004. International services to Christchurch, New Zealand, commenced on 1 December 2005. Although owned by Qantas, its management operates largely independent of Qantas through the company formerly known as Impulse Airlines - an airline acquired by Qantas on 20 November 2001.
Originally the airline was headquartered on the grounds of Avalon Airport in Avalon, City of Greater Geelong, Victoria, Australia.
Despite its low-cost ethos, Jetstar currently offers a limited number of connecting services without through baggage checking — though this has changed since international flights commenced in November 2006. Baggage conectivity was added as a service offering for domestic flights connecting with international flights.
Reserved seating is currently provided on all routes and on 4 October 2006, Jetstar became the first Australian airline to allow customers to select their seat upon booking.