Qantas to exit Jetstar Pacific joint venture?
Qantas‘ subsidiary Jetstar announced significant changes to its company network in South East Asia, as the low-cost carrier will rebrand its Vietnam-based unit to Pacific Airlines and will align it closer with its majority shareholder, Vietnam Airlines.
The Australian airline group agreed to introduce changes with Vietnam Airlines after the current COVID-19 pandemic had shifted the landscape of air travel around the world. Jetstar Pacific will now be known as Pacific Airlines and will feature a new logo and livery. The new livery will be “inspired” by Vietnam Airlines brand colors and design, as stated in the press release. The name change is pending authority approval.
A change to Pacific’s reservation system is also coming, as the low-cost carrier will be more streamlined to its parent organization. Executive Vice President of Vietnam Airlines, Trinh Hong Quang, stated that “low-cost carriers will play a certain role in supporting the return of travel as restrictions ease.” The returning Pacific Airlines company will also offer Vietnam Airlines’ customers the “low fares our customers expect.”
“We are optimistic that the dual-brand strategy will leverage the brand and resources of Vietnam Airlines,” added Quang, as he expects the Vietnamese group to maintain its positions in the domestic market now and “into the future.”
Currently, Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary Pacific Airlines compete with VietJet Air, another low-cost carrier, a newly spooled-up carrier Bamboo Airways, and a small regional carrier Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO). Two new airlines, namely Viettravel Airlines and Kite Air, were supposed to enter the market, however, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Vietnamese authorities to postpone the consideration of new entrants into the Vietnamese air traffic system.
Despite the fact that, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates, Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing air markets in the world, Qantas might be looking to exit Pacific Airlines entirely. The chief executive of Jetstar Group Gareth Evans stated that the two sides are looking at the carrier’s structure and “future shareholding agreements.”
Jetstar Pacific ownership is split 70% and 30% between Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Group, respectively.
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