Qantas not liable for Jetstar HK’s fleet: Hrdlicka

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Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka says that the Qantas group has no direct liability for the Airbus A320s on order for Jetstar Hong Kong.

“We have made an investment in Jetstar Hong Kong, a fixed investment, with the first tranche being $33 million,” she said. “Jetstar Hong Kong has the full liability for the nine aircraft that have been ordered for Jetstar Hong Kong. The liability is Jetstar Hong Kong's; we are an investor, and we have provided our one-third investment.”

Hrdlicka made the statement in answer to a question during a Senate inquiry on 14 March.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Jetstar Hong Kong has six A320s in storage at Toulouse-Blagnac International airport. The database also shows that the aircraft are still owned by Qantas and managed by Jetstar Hong Kong.

In addition, there are a further nine aircraft on order for Jetstar Hong Kong, which are also owned by Qantas.

Hrdlicka's comments follow recent changes in the Jetstar group's fleet. An A320 allocated to Jetstar Japan was recently leased out an A320 to Spanish carrier Vueling Airlines. Qantas has also said that it is restructuring its A320 orderbook as part of a plan to cut A$1 billion in capital expenditure over the next two years.

Jetstar Hong Kong is a three-way joint venture between Qantas, China Eastern Airlines and Hong Kong’s Shun Tak Holdings. Each shareholder will commit $66 million to the carrier’s capitalisation, payable in a series of tranches.

The proposed carrier applied last year for an air operator’s certificate. It had planned to launch before the end of the year, but is still awaiting a decision from authorities in Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines have objected to the application, citing concerns about where control of the airline will lay , as well as infrastructure constraints at Hong Kong International airport.