Established by Qantas in 2003 as a low-cost domestic subsidiary, Jetstar Airways began domestic passenger flights on the 25th of May, 2004, after the sales of tickets for the inaugural flight in February, 2004.
The sister airline Jetstar Asia Airways connected Singapore to Hong Kong in mid-December, 2004.
International services to Christchurch, New Zealand, were introduced on the 1st of December, 2005.
In July, 2006, Jetstar and Jetstar Asia united under the Jetstar brand.
In November, 2006, Jetstar was the first Australian airline to allow its customers to select their seats upon booking.
In July 2007, Pacific Airlines was relaunched as Jetstar Pacific.
In 2009, new destinations were added to the network, including domestic New Zealand routes.
In 2010, Jetstar was the first airline in the world to announce a pilot project to give passengers a new Apple iPad for in-flight entertainment.
In 2011, Qantas, Jetstar’s parent, announced that it will set up a new airline to be called Jetstar Japan (partnership between the Qantas Group, Japan Airlines, Century Tokyo Leasing Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation).
In March 2012, a new Asian Jetstar branded airline was announced, Jetstar Hong Kong (a partnership between the Qantas Group, China Eastern Airlines and Shun Tak Holdings).
In July 2012, Jetstar Japan began flying domestically within Japan with a fleet of 13 new Airbus A320s configured for 180 passengers.
As from 2013, Jetstar Hong Kong will be a low fares carrier based in and operated from Hong Kong.
By the end of 2013, Jetstar will take delivery of three Boeing 787 Dreamliner, marking the start of an extensive fleet renewal. Jetstar expects to be the first airline in Australia and New Zealand to operate the Boeing 787.
In June 2014, Jetstar Japan established Kansai International Airport in Osaka as its second hub, with frequencies increased on existing routes to Tokyo, Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Okinawa.
In October 2014, after operational restrictions on foreign-owned low-cost carriers were lifted by the Indonesian Government, Valuair was dissolved, and Jetstar Asia took over its flights.
On February 28, 2015, Jetstar Japan commenced international services, with its first international flight connecting Kansai International Airport with Hong Kong International Airport. In June, Jetstar Japan also started international services from its Tokyo hub, with 3 weekly flights between Tokyo Narita International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.
In December 2015, Jetstar started operating regional services in New Zealand, with 5 turboprop Bombardier Q300 operated under the Jetstar brand by the regional airline Eastern Australia Airlines, one of Qantas’ subsidiaries.
In July 2016, Jetstar Pacific signed a memorandum of understanding for 10 Airbus A320ceo. The order, the first direct purchase by the airline, was finalized by the signing of the contract in September. The new aircraft will allow Jetstar Pacific to expand operations on its international network from Vietnam. In addition to its domestic network, Jetstar Pacific serves international destinations in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Taiwan from its Ho Chi Minh City hub and Hanoi.
On January 5th, 2017, Airlineratings.com announced the top safest airlines for 2017, and Jetstar Airways and Jetstar Asia are among the top ten safest low-cost airlines.
In February 2018, Jetstar Airways announced an order of 18 Airbus A321LRs that will operate a mix of domestic and international routes from mid-2020. The new type of aircraft means longer direct flights and allows the deployment of some of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners onto other routes. In November, Jetstar Japan also placed an order for 3 Airbus A321LRs with delivery from 2020.
In November 2019, Jetstar unveiled the next-generation cabin for its Airbus A321LR aircraft expected to arrive in August 2020. The quieter, more fuel-efficient, longer-range Airbus A321 LR features a single-class cabin with 232 award-winning ergonomic Recaro seats, offering passengers greater comfort and more low fares.
In December 2019, Jetstar launched the first low-cost direct service connecting Australia and South Korea, with the inaugural flight from the Gold Coast to Seoul operated with the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.
No deadly incidents involving Jetstar Airways aircraft have been recorded so far.