Jetstar Airways (JQ, Melbourne Tullamarine) and Jetstar Japan (GK, Tokyo Narita) will start adding A321-200neo to their fleets in mid-2020, Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans told the media during the IATA AGM in Seoul.

"The A321neo will be arriving both in Australia and Japan from the middle of 2020. Initially, we have three aircraft coming to Japan and eighteen to Australia over the next two years from mid-2020," Evans said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Qantas Group currently has 99 A320neo family aircraft on order with Airbus, including forty-five A320-200neo, thirty-six A321neo, and eighteen A321neo(LR)s.

All of the A320neo Family aircraft ordered by Qantas Group will go to various Jetstar units as a replacement of their current fleets and for growth. Evans pointed out that Singapore's Jetstar Asia Airways (3K, Singapore Changi) and Viet Nam's Jetstar Pacific (Ho Chi Minh City) could also get A321neo down the line, although the initial plan through 2022 foresees deliveries only to the Australian and the Japanese units.

Evans said that the A321neo will allow the Jetstar airlines to expand their network.

"They will be game-changers for Jetstar the way the B787-9s were for Qantas. The extra range they have means they can fly domestically during the day and internationally during the night, thus freeing up B787-8s which we can use to expand our international network like to South Korea," Evans said.

He added that the LCC group is evaluating the proposed A321neo(XLR).

"This aircraft could work on markets such as Cairns-Japan. We have a fairly big B787 operation from Cairns to Tokyo Narita and Osaka Kansai and with the A321neo(XLR) we would potentially be able to open more points in Japan," Evans said.

He added that Jetstar Group was happy with its current business in Japan and did not plan to invest in ZIPAIR (ZG, Tokyo Narita), a planned long-haul low-cost subsidiary of JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda). Jetstar Japan is a joint-venture between Jetstar and JAL.

"We had discussions with JAL. We want to continue to build the capabilities of Jetstar Japan. We are absolutely happy to support JAL, there are certain elements we will have to harmonise with ZIPAIR but we didn't want to get distracted by setting up a new long-haul low-cost airline in a country far away," Evans said.

Jetstar Airways currently operates fifty-two A320-200s, eight A321-200s, and eleven B787-8. It also wet-leases five Dash 8-300s from Eastern Australia Airlines. Jetstar Japan operates twenty-five A320s. Jetstar Asia operates eighteen A320s and Jetstar Pacific fifteen A320s and two A321s.

Qantas itself has still not decided on the replacement strategy for its seventy-five B737-800s. CEO Alan Joyce said that the airline will start talks with Airbus and Boeing next year after it makes a go or no-go decision regarding the ultra-long-haul Project Sunrise. He mentioned that Qantas was interested in Boeing's NMA type but he also did not disqualify the B737 MAX.