A critically important tie-up between Qantas/Jetstar and Air Asia is about to be announced.
The founder and CEO of Air Asia, Tony Fernandes, the founding CEO of Jetstar as well as current CEO of Qantas, Alan Joyce, and his successor at Jetstar, Bruce Buchanan, will hold a joint press conference tomorrow morning in Sydney.
While no details have been officially released the parties are known to have been talking to each other from time to time over the last year or so. Last week there were informed reports of a cost-sharing alliance between Jetstar and Air Asia, which is by a large margin, Asia’s most successful and extensive low cost carrier, based in Kuala Lumpur and with franchises in Thailand and Indonesia.
Jetstar has franchises in Singapore (its 49% owned Jetstar Asia) and Vietnam (30% owned Jetstar Pacific.)
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The appearance of the black star of the Jetstar logo on Airbus A320s carrying the Air Asia brand is a distinct possibility, and one that would carry potent synergies for both brands, and add to the isolation of Singapore Airlines controlled Tiger Airways.
Tony Fernandes is one of the more flamboyant and interesting business leaders in Asia, and has also included Richard Branson in his aviation empire, by selling him a 20% stake in his long haul operation, Air Asia X, which flies to Malaysia and beyond from the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth.
Fernandes has his own blog, which is compulsive reading for those interested in airlines in Asia.