That would make Jetstar Pacific the largest of Qantas's budget Asian offshoots, ahead of Singapore's Jetstar Asia and Jetstar Japan, which have 18 and 20 aircraft respectively at present. However, Qantas has pointed to the potential to have 50 aircraft at its Japanese arm over the longer term.

Qantas owns 30 per cent of Jetstar Pacific, with state-owned Vietnam Airlines holding the majority 70 per cent share. Jetstar Pacific has grown from five aircraft in 2013 to 12 aircraft now, operating to 16 domestic and six international destinations.

After a meeting with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce and Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka in Sydney to discuss the venture, Vietnam Airlines chief executive Dr Pham Ngoc Minh said he was optimistic about the future of Jetstar Pacific.

"Jetstar Pacific has made significant progress in recent years, cumulating in the low fares airline being profitable for the first nine months of calendar year 2015," Dr Minh said. "With the increased demand for low fares travel in Vietnam, we expect to grow Jetstar Pacific to a fleet of up to 30 aircraft by 2020."

Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar Pacific hold a combined market share of 70 per cent in the fast-growing Vietnamese aviation market.

Dual-brand strategy

Ms Hrdlicka said Jetstar Pacific was a key part of Jetstar's network across the Asia-Pacific region.

"Qantas has successfully implemented a dual-brand strategy in Australia with Jetstar and we are sharing this experience with Vietnam Airlines to do the same with Jetstar Pacific," she said. "We expect to continue to leverage the strengths of Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar and Qantas. This includes Jetstar Pacific accessing the benefits of the Qantas aircraft fleet order with Airbus."

Qantas has 99 next generation A320neo aircraft on order with Airbus for delivery from 2017. In June, the Australian carrier failed to gain regulatory approval for its planned Jetstar Hong Kong venture, which has since been disbanded.

Qantas chairman Leigh Clifford last month said the carrier would consolidate its position at its existing Asian ventures rather than pursue opportunities for the low-cost arm in new geographies like mainland China.

By Jamie Freed - The Sydney Morning Herald - November 3, 2015


Vietnam Airlines to keep investing in Jetstar after first profit in 3 yrs

Vietnam Airlines and the other shareholder of Jetstar Pacific have pledged to continue investment in the low-cost carrier, after it reported a profit for the first time in three years.

Jetstar Pacific was operating at a gain in the first nine months of this year, one of the carrier’s top officials told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Monday, without specifying earnings.

The airline has recently restructured its operations and monitored expenses, while its market share has improved and fuel prices have fallen, the anonymous official said in explaining the positive business result.

National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines owns 70 percent of Jetstar Pacific, whereas Australia’s Qantas Airways holds the remaining 30 percent.

This is the first time the budget carrier has reported a profit since Vietnam Airlines acquired its stake, and put it under operational reform in 2012.

“Jetstar has gained the trust of Vietnam Airlines and the Qantas Group regarding its possible further development because of such successful restructuring efforts,” Vietnam Airlines general director Pham Ngoc Minh said in a statement.

Vietnam Airlines, Qantas Group and Jetstar Group, a subsidiary of the Australian carrier, have recently met to review the effectiveness of the restructuring of Jetstar in the last three years, and all agreed to continue investment in the low-cost carrier after the meeting.

Jetstar will continue receiving support from its two major shareholders to become “strong enough to compete with other low-cost carriers,” Minh said.

“We aim to have Vietnam Airlines and Jetstar collectively account for 70 percent of the Vietnamese domestic market,” he added.

“We will also seek to increase Jetstar’s fleet to 30 planes by 2020.”

Jetstar is offering 32 services to 16 local destinations and six international terminals.

In 2015 alone, the carrier inaugurated 11 new domestic services and five international routes in its bid to expand its network to Asian countries, according to The Saigon Times Online.

The carrier now has 12 planes in its fleet, including ten Airbus A320’s and two A321’s, and has served around 18 million passengers since 2012.

Tuoi Tre News - November 3, 2015