Jetstar Airways Limited.
Towards the end of 2003 Qantas Airways made the decision to form a Value Based Airline to initially operate along the eastern corridor of Australia. Virgin Blue had already commenced operations after the demise of Ansett Australia, and it therefore made economic sense for Qantas to meet Virgin Blue head-on with airfares that Qantas itself, as a full service airline, could not offer.
An enthusiastic team with vast experience, was put together under the leadership of Alan Joyce, who had worked in management positions at both Ansett Australia and Qantas. This team put together an entirely new operation in a matter of months, based at the start, on the use of fourteen Boeing 717-200s that were already operating within the Qantas Group as Airconnex / Impulse Airlines.
A fantastic, modern livery was chosen and on May 25, 2004 the first Jetstar flight took off. Plans were already underway to replace the Boeing 717s in under 2 years with a fleet of 23 brand new Airbus A320-200s. Since that time, Trans Tasman operations have been set up with services operating between Australian ports and Auckland, Wellington Christchurch and Queenstown, New Zealand, and within New Zealand itself, and international operations to the Pacific Islands. The Airbus A330s was replaced from 2013 with a modern fleet of Boeing 787-800s, giving Jetstar not only the opportunity to both offer the most modern aircraft in the world, but also to greatly expand their sphere of operations into European and North American ports.
In December 2004 Jetstar Asia was formed by Qantas (49.9%), Temasek Holdings (19%), Mr Tony Chew (21.1%) and a Mr F. F.Wong (10%). This airline is based in Singapore and operates Airbus A320s to destinations in South East Asia. Jetstar Asia took over Valuair on July 24, 2005.
Valuair had been formed by ex Singapore Airlines management staff, and Asiatravel.com. 20% of the company was acquired in December 2004 by Star Cruises, a Singapore based shipping line. On July 24, 2005 Valuair was taken over by Jetstar Asia under the holding company “Orange Star” and gradually merged into Jetstar Asia.
In 2005, Jetstar expanded their New Zealand operations with the opening of a new base in Auckland, to operate both Tasman and New Zealand domestic flights. A second base was later established in Christchurch.
In November 2006, Jetstar commenced longhaul international flights with their first Airbus A330 VH-EBA departing Melbourne for Bangkok. The fleet of Airbus A330s was replaced from late 2013 with 11 new Boeing 787-8s.
In 2008 Qantas acquired a holding in Pacific Airlines, Vietnam which was gradually increased to a 30% interest in the Vietnamese carrier. The Pacific name was changed to Jetstar Pacific.
On August 16, 2011, Jetstar Japan was formed by Qantas (42%), Japan Airlines (42%) and the Mitsubishi Corporation. Jetstar Japan’s Operating Certificate was granted on April 06, 2012 and operations commenced on July 03, 2012.
In 2013 Jetstar Hong Kong was scheduled commence operations. This part of the airline was proposed to be a joint venture between Qantas and China Eastern Airlines. However, Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licencing Authority after much negotiation, refused Jetstar Hong Kong’s application for an operating certificate. Subsequently Qantas and China Eastern Airlines announced they were ending the involvement in Jetstar Hong Kong, and not to proceed with the investment.