Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, addressing the Tourism and Transport Forum in Sydney, stated (06-Feb-2013) the carrier believes the case for Jetstar Hong Kong is “compelling”. He said: “Hong Kong is one of Asia's key hubs and a huge aviation market, and our research shows that Hong Kong residents are eager for more options and better prices. We are moving through the regulatory approval process now, having lodged our AOC application and appointed our Hong Kong-based CEO. We never take anything for granted, but we believe the case for the new airline is compelling”. He continued, “Like all the Jetstar airlines, Jetstar Hong Kong will increase the overall size of the market and attract new passengers, rather than just compete for existing travellers. What all this means is that we have reached a turning point for the Jetstar business in terms of its scale. There is now a solid platform from which to accelerate growth and tap into the fastest growing aviation market in the world”. With the venture, Mr Joyce noted that the company would expand its large presence in China and Greater China (Qantas already operates into Hong Kong and Shanghai and Jetstar currently flies to nine ports in Greater China). He noted that Qantas is the first international airline to enter a joint venture with a Chinese carrier, China Eastern, noting that “while the partnership with China Eastern is in very early days, there is great potential there”. [more - original PR]
There is great potential from Qantas-China Eastern Airlines partnership: Qantas CEO
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The A380 is once again under media scrutiny, despite there being no major movement on the type. Comments from Air France and Qantas about not taking further A380s have long been assumed, and it has been apparent that Malaysia Airlines does not even have the need for its A380s. Singapore Airlines not renewing the lease on its first A380 is hardly surprising, and offers no definitive conclusion about the A380 or second-hand market; early A380s had different production and are not as efficient as later models. The lack of movement on the A380neo continues to irk the model's largest customer by far, Emirates, and may not make for a productive relationship as Emirates weighs an A350 or 787 order.
For most, the A380 continues to fly. How and where it flies is changing. Flights to and from the Middle East are becoming more common as Gulf airlines, and mostly Emirates, take delivery of A380s. A further shift to the Middle East is inevitable. In Japan there has been a near exodus of A380s; airlines dropping the type as they moved from Narita to Haneda, which cannot accommodate the A380 during the day, and Singapore Airlines down-gauging. Intra-Asia flying is decreasing – notable given the growth of A380s based in the region. Services by the A380 to Australia are growing, perhaps as it becomes an easy market for airlines to redeploy capacity amid European security concerns and trans-Pacific overcapacity.
AirAsia exploring future opportunities in Northeast Asia: Chinese affiliate enticing, but difficult
AirAsia is doubling down its focus on North Asia with a regional office in Hong Kong overseen by former AirAsia executive Kathleen Tan, who is widely credited for AirAsia's strong Chinese relations and growth in China: AirAsia is the largest non-greater China airline company in the country. Across North Asia the opportunities are large, but the challenges equally big. A China-based AirAsia affiliate would appear to be a long term ambition.
More immediately, AirAsia is regaining a local Northeast Asia presence with the launch of AirAsia Japan Mk II in 2017. Although delayed from initial 2015 start-up projections, AirAsia Japan gives the group relevance in a large domestic market and significantly growing short haul international market.
Elsewhere in Northeast Asia the opportunities are mixed. Korea and Hong Kong are becoming saturated and remain protectionist. Macau and Taiwan are unlikely to be big enough to support a local AirAsia unit.