Qantas Airways considering international flights for its domestic carrier Jetstar

Qantas Airways is considering allowing its budget domestic carrier Jetstar to spread its wings and fly to international destinations, Qantas' chief executive said Sunday.

Geoff Dixon told Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s Inside Business that the Qantas board will next week discuss the possibility of Jetstar beginning international flights.

"We haven't announced the routes," he said, but added they initially would be within eight to 10 hours of Australia putting them in the Asia-Pacific region.

Dixon said the plan would not hit Qantas' operations as Jetstar would fly routes that the national flag carrier does not operate on.

"Routes that either Qantas has withdrawn from in the past 10 years or may have withdrawn over the last year or so and also new routes" will be targeted, Dixon said. "Certainly we want to try and find ones that Qantas and Australian carriers don't fly to."

If the board approves the plan, Jetstar could begin international flights within a year.

Jetstar took to the Australian skies in May 2004 to compete with British tycoon Richard Branson's cut-rate domestic carrier Virgin Blue. It offers unreserved seating, food only if purchased, smaller than normal seats and reduced spaces between rows, reported AP. P.T.

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