HCM CITY — Vietnam Airlines and Australia's Qantas Group announced a new partnership arrangement on Tuesday for Viet Nam-based budget carrier Jetstar Pacific Airlines, which they jointly own.
|A Jetstar plane lands at Da Nang Airport. — VNS Photo Doan Tung
The Vietnamese airline announced that the State's stake in the beleaguered low-cost carrier, previously managed by Viet Nam State Capital Investment Corp (SCIC), has been transferred to it following a Government decision on January 16.
It becomes the largest shareholder in JPA with 69.93 per cent, followed by Qantas with 27 per cent.
Vietnam Airlines will sell a 3 per cent stake to Qantas under an agreement previously signed between SCIC and Qantas Airways.
Viet Nam's first no-frills carrier, earlier known as Pacific Airlines, became Jetstar Pacific in May 2008.
Qantas has held a stake in it since 2007.
At JPA's shareholders meeting on Tuesday, both parties agreed on strategic plans for JPA's sustainable development and for making it the leading low-cost air carrier in Viet Nam.
It will receive an initial capital injection of A$25 (US$26.67 million), including $7.5 million from Qantas, to be used mostly for fleet renewal involving replacement of its current Boeing 737s with new A320s starting this year.
The shareholders will increase Jetstar Pacific's fleet to 15 A320s within the next few years.
Vietnam Airlines president and CEO Dr Pham Ngoc Minh said: "Vietnam Airlines is very happy to see JPA shareholders reach consensus on plans to develop JPA into a successful business model that combines low fare advantages with Vietnam Airlines' experience.
"We strongly believe that these plans will revitalise JPA and better benefit its customers, thus boosting development of Viet Nam's civil aviation market."
In a statement yesterday, the CEO of Jetstar Group, Bruce Buchanan, said the strategic partnership with Vietnam Airlines would strengthen Jetstar Pacific's ability to create new travel demand in the third most populous nation in Southeast Asia.
"Across Asia we are seeing the positive impacts of introducing a new generation of customers to air travel, including Viet Nam where the penetration of low cost carriers is still relatively low," he said.
"The strength of our low-cost model and the tremendous potential for growth provide a unique opportunity for Jetstar in Viet Nam. Our partnership with Vietnam Airlines will help develop this." — VNS