Vietnam Airlines to buy Australian investor’s stake in Jetstar Pacific
HANOI, Jun 15, 2020, VN Express. Vietnam Airlines will buy Qantas’s stake in Jetstar Pacific, change its name and restructure the budget carrier to make it more profitable, VN Express reported.
The national flag carrier said Monday that name will be changed from Jetstar Pacific to Pacific Airlines, and that the name change will be accompanied by plans to improve its business performance and profitability. Vietnam Airlines currently owns a 68.85 percent stake in Jetstar Pacific.
It further said that the booking mechanism of Pacific Airlines will be synchronized with that of Vietnam Airlines, resulting in lower costs, it said.
The new name, Pacific Airlines – the original name of the airline when it was established in 1991 – will be effective once the change is approved by Vietnamese authorities.
Trinh Hong Quang, Deputy CEO of Vietnam Airlines and chairman of Jetstar Pacific, had said recently that the low-cost airline has struggled to make a breakthrough despite being in business for a long time.
One reason, Quang said, is the airline’s fleet of 18 jets is too small for a low-cost airline. Budget airline Vietjet has 68 aircraft and plans to bring this number to 200 by 2025.
Another reason is the differences in management style between Australian private company Qantas and state-owned Vietnam Airlines, Quang said, adding that the former does not understand the Vietnam market, which is crucial for the budget carrier.
Qantas, which owns a 30 percent stake in Jetstar Pacific, will divest from the airline while Vietnam Airlines plans to increase its ownership to 98 percent, Quang said.
The Vietnam Airlines Group, consisting of Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific and Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), held more than 50 percent of Vietnam’s aviation market last year, while Vietjet claimed 41.9 percent, according to the Airports Corporation of Vietnam (ACV).
Vietnamese airlines served 116 million passengers last year, up 12 percent from 2018, ACV said.