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Qantas, JAL and Mitsubishi Form Jetstar Japan

Qantas, JAL and Mitsubishi Form Jetstar Japan

The Qantas Group, Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Corporation today announced today the launch of Jetstar Japan – a new low-cost airline that will commence domestic operations by end-2012 from Tokyo (Narita) and Osaka (Kansai International), with other destinations under consideration including Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Okinawa.

Jetstar Japan also plans to ultimately offer short-haul international services to key Asian cities. The airline will launch with an initial fleet of three new Airbus A320 aircraft, configured for 180 customers in a single class, increasing to 24 aircraft within its first few years. Total capitalisation commitment for the new airline is up to ¥12 billion.

Qantas, JAL and Mitsubishi will each hold a one-third share in the new company on a voting-rights-basis.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the establishment of Jetstar Japan was an historic and important step. “The Qantas Group has a long history of serving the Japanese air travel market, with Qantas and Jetstar operating regular services between Australia and Japan.

“Qantas and JAL have a long-standing relationship, as codeshare partners and fellow Oneworld alliance members. We are also delighted to be joining with Mitsubishi Corporation– one of Japan’s great global brands – to launch Jetstar Japan, building on the successful expansion of the Jetstar brand across Asia.

“The Qantas Group has a wealth of experience in establishing low-cost carriers and we are looking forward to working with our two partners on this new venture, which will offer low fares to the Japanese travelling public.”

Jetstar Japan will be officially launched in Tokyo today by the President of Japan Airlines, Masaru Onishi; Executive Vice President and Group CEO, Industrial Finance, Logistics & Development Group Mitsubishi Corporation, Hideshi Takeuchi; and Jetstar Group Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Buchanan.

JAL President Masaru Onishi said the partnership with Jetstar is a two-airline strategy that will allow the Japanese carrier to competitively serve a larger part of the Japanese market. “We are confident that Jetstar Japan will broaden the spectrum of travellers as it creates new demand in this market. It will encourage even more movement of people within the country and also increase the number of visitors from Asia to Japan. We anticipate this to stimulate consumer spending and play a role in revitalising the Japanese economy.”

Hideshi Takeuchi said: “Jetstar’s entrance to Japan, as a proven successful low-cost airline operator, will revitalise our domestic air transportation market. That is the reason for our participation, and we would like to support Jetstar Japan’s success in Japan as well as eastern Asia with our variety of services such as aircraft leasing.”

Jetstar was the first low-fares airline to enter Japan in 2007, and has already carried more than two million customers between Australia and Japan.

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 50 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 40 years.

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