Qantas Airways CEO, Alan Joyce, stated the carrier plans to increase the number of LCC services between Japan and other Asia Pacific destinations through its LCC subsidiary, Jetstar Airways (The Nikkei, 23-Sep-2010). Jetstar plans to launch services connecting Tokyo Narita to destinations in Vietnam and Singapore, among other Asia Pacific destinations, within the next five years. Qantas owns 27% of Jetstar Pacific and 49% of Jetstar Asia, with plans for these LCCs to operate services to Narita, Kansai and possibly Haneda in the future.
Qantas CEO considers launch of LCC services on Japan-Asia routes
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Australia-Vietnam growth rate to accelerate: Jetstar Airways and Vietnam Airlines launch new routes
The Australia-Vietnam market will experience a surge of capacity over the next few months as Jetstar Airways launches services to Ho Chi Minh from Melbourne and Sydney and Vietnam Airlines adds Sydney-Hanoi. There will be 24 weekly flights from Australia to Vietnam in Jun-2016, all with 787s, compared to only 14 weekly flights currently.
Jetstar Airways has not served Vietnam since 2012, when it dropped Darwin-Ho Chi Minh service. However, Vietnam is a strategically important market for the Jetstar Group, given its 30% stake in the fast growing Vietnamese LCC Jetstar Pacific. Vietnam Airlines owns a majority 70% stake in Jetstar Pacific and has a codeshare partnership with Qantas, although will compete with Jetstar in the Australia-Vietnam market.
Australia-Vietnam is a growing market with tremendous potential. However, the sudden influx of capacity will inevitably pressure already low yields. Load factors on Australia-Vietnam nonstop flights, which have improved significantly since Jetstar’s withdrawal in 2012, will also be pressured.
AirAsia initiates third attempt to launch Vietnamese JV; Vietnam maybe overburdened with LCCs
The AirAsia Group has forged a new joint venture in Vietnam, marking its third attempt to establish a Vietnamese affiliate. AirAsia was initially partnered with VietJet Air but the partnership was dissolved prior to VietJet commencing operations in late 2011.
The market has since more than doubled in size, and Vietnam has emerged as Southeast Asia’s fastest growing market. While there is further growth potential, the LCC incumbents VietJet and Jetstar Pacific have first mover advantage, and infrastructure constraints could make it difficult for any new entrant to establish a significant presence. AirAsia will also need to overcome regulatory hurdles.
Vietnam is the second largest market in Southeast Asia without an AirAsia affiliate - after Singapore, where the group has been able to develop a sizeable presence with a virtual hub. Vietnam is a market AirAsia strategically cannot avoid, but the group is late to the party and faces some of the same obstacles that have impacted its performance in the Philippines.