Cathay Pacific grounds Jetstar HK
Jetstar is unlikely to obtain a license from Hong Kong authorities on schedule due to Cathay Pacific’s opposition.
November 19 – Jetstar is unlikely to obtain a license from Hong Kong authorities on schedule due to Cathay Pacific’s opposition, Reuters reported citing sources close to Qantas Airways. The source went as far as saying that it took less time to obtain a license from countries protective of its domestic carriers, such as India, China and Japan, than from Hong Kong.
Another unnamed source told Hong Kong media that Cathay Pacific is “stopping at nothing” to block Jetstar from taking flight in Hong Kong. But the report quoted another observer close to the Hong Kong government and Cathay Pacific that the latter had no direct influence on the delays of Jetstar Hong Kong’s licensing.
A Cathay Pacific spokesperson declined to comment on the reports.
Meanwhile, wire services quoted two sources close to Jetstar shareholders that the airlines’ three shareholders, Qantas Airways, China Eastern Airlines and Stanley Ho family’s Shun Tak Group, have no intention of pulling out investments despite the impasse, although they are iincreasingly weary of the stalling and are questioning the transparency and openness of the Hong Kong authorities in resolving this issue.
Jetstar has already sold six of its A320 aircraft because of the delay, shrinking its fleet from nine to three planes. Shareholders Qantas Airways and China Eastern Airlines also sold a part of their shares to Shun Tak Group in September, raising the Shun Tak Group’s stake to 51% and making Jetstar its subsidiary. This move was aimed at increasing the company’s Hong Kong ownership to meet licensing requirements.(Translation by David)