Thu, Feb 10, 2011 - Page 12 News List

JetStar in talks for Philippine venture

Bloomberg

Jetstar, the budget unit of Qantas Airways Ltd, said it was in talks to form an airline venture in the Philippines to tap rising travel demand.

“We’re still having talks,” group chief executive officer Bruce Buchanan told reporters in Manila yesterday. “Our plan in the region is to continue to grow.”

Buchanan declined to name counterparties in the talks.

Jetstar said it would start thrice-a-week direct flights from this week between Darwin, Australia, and the Philippine capital, while rivals — including Kuala Lumpur-based AirAsia Bhd and Cebu Air Inc — are expanding their fleets and services in the Philippines.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has said he plans to open the airline market to help double visitor arrivals during his term.

The Qantas unit has been flying from Singapore to Manila since 2005 and has almost doubled frequency since then to 18 times a week. Jetstar also plans to expand in Japan either by increasing flights or forming a domestic operation, Buchanan said.

The budget carrier has domestic operations in Australia, Vietnam and New Zealand.

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