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Lion Air Eyes Jetstar to Spread its Wings in Australasia

Indonesia’s Lion Air Group is in talks with Qantas Airways Ltd about buying the Australian carrier’s stake in the Singapore-based affiliate of its budget airline, Jetstar, Reuters reported.

The talks to buy out Qantas’ 49 percent stake in Jetstar Asia Airways, the Singapore affiliate, began a few months ago and are still at an early stage, a source, declining to be identified because the matter was confidential, said.

Any purchase would be subject to approval from the Singapore regulators, the source added. The value of any potential deal is unclear.

A Qantas spokesman declined to comment on the matter, saying it was “speculation”.

Jetstar Asia and Lion Air Group also declined to comment. Similarly, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore had no immediate comment.

Any potential sale would help the bottom line of Qantas, which has seen stiff competition at home and overseas, pushing it deep into the red in the six months ending Dec. 31.

In February, Qantas said it had shed staff, slashed spending and sold gas-guzzling planes as part of its most radical shake-up since it was privatized 20 years ago.

It has also halted the expansion of Jetstar, with all steps aimed at convincing the Australian government that it is worthy of the state assistance it says it desperately needs.

Source : www.thejakartapost.com, Tuesday, July 15 2014