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Monday, August 15, 2011

JAL to launch Jetstar Japan with Qantas and Mitsubishi

So the third time is really a charm and the Jetstar Japan finally comes true. Japan Airlines (JAL) and Qantas (QF) announced today that they will set up a new low cost carrier (LCC), Jetstar Japan, based in Narita. Jetstar Japan will start operation by December 2012.

Jetstar Japan will be flying from Narita (NRT) and Kansai (KIX). Other cities under considerations are Fukuoka (FUK), Sapporo (CTS), Okinawa (OKA) and other short-haul international destinations. JAL will first launch Jetstar Japan with 3 new Airbus 320s. These planes will only have a single class cabin configured for 180 passengers. This is the same as what Jetstar and AirAsia has today. The fleet will increase to 24 aircraft within the first year. All these aircraft will be funded off from Qantas' balance sheet (yea so JAL can maintain the "never order from Airbus" loyal Boeing customer status :p). Total capitalization commitment is up to 12 billion yen.

JAL, Qantas, and Mitsubishi will all have 1/3 of the voting rights. But JAL and Qantas will each contribute 42% of the investment while Mitsubishi contributes the remaining 16% for now. Notice that Qantas cannot hold more than 1/3 of the voting rights due to regulations in Japan...so is this the reason why Mitsubishi got a sweet deal and can have 1/3 of the control over Jetstar Japan by contributing only 16% of the capital? But there are opportunities to gather more investors from Japan. So Mitsubishi's voting rights might eventually get diluted.

For more details, you can refer to JAL and Qantas' press releases below:
JAL Press Release (Japanese, English)
Qantas Press Releases (1, 2)

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