Jetstar this morning claimed to be announcing low fare flights between Singapore and Hangzhou (Shanghai) from March 22, which is as misleading as Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary, claiming infamously that its flights to Frankfurt (Hahn) were going to the real German metropolis and not to a strip 150 kilometres away in a peculiarly benighted part of Germany in terms of slow and inconvenient bus links.
Hangzhou is a fine destination in its own right, but it is also about 190 kilometres from Shanghai, depending on which part of that massive city you are aiming for. Its airport is also 27 kilometres from Hangzhou and its new 45 minutes 202 kilometres long high speed rail service to a Shanghai station which is itself quite a metro trip away from some of the attractions and main hotels of that incredible city.
The estimated road time direct from Hangzhou Airport to the Bund in Shanghai is between three and three and a half hours on China travel guide sites, which probably means at midnight.
The Jetstar press release pushes the high speed rail link as if it was convenient to the airport, which it isn’t, and calls Hangzhou a Shanghai airport, which is nonsense.
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It’s like Jetstar deciding to start flights to Goulburn and calling that a service to Sydney, when it is 197 kilometres short of the full trip.
Why Jetstar should try to trick up Hangzhou as a gateway to Shanghai is the more puzzling considering it is in its own right, a terrific destination in China, and has all sorts of heavy industrial and manufacturing attractions for Australian business travellers, which is why from Thursday it will be linked by a Hainan Airlines full service flight to Sydney via Shenzhen.
Hainan will get you to Hangzhou many hours faster than Jetstar can with its connections from Melbourne over Singapore and commands a large intra-China network with frequent connections from both Hangzhou and Shenzhen.