SYDNEY: Australian carrier Qantas said Friday it would review its Jetstar Hong Kong business after the budget carrier’s bid to operate out of the southern Chinese city was rejected.
With the Asian aviation market seen as the fastest growing in the world, Qantas has been keen to build the Jetstar low-cost brand in the region, venturing into Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.
But plans for a Jetstar Hong Kong were rejected on Thursday by authorities who, after considering the bid for two years, found the airline’s primary place of business was not in the southern Chinese city.
“The Qantas Group will work with its fellow shareholders in Jetstar Hong Kong to review the enterprise, following the Air Transport Licensing Authority’s decision to reject the local carrier’s application to establish an operation in Hong Kong,” Qantas said in a statement.
Jetstar Hong Kong is a three-way joint venture between Qantas, China Eastern Airlines and Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho’s Hong Kong-based conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings.
Jetstar Hong Kong had planned to fly to cities in China, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia, but the bid was opposed by the city’s flag carrier Cathay Pacific, which argued the airline was not based in Hong Kong.