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Vietnam Airlines to Buy Major Stake in Jetstar, Rename It 'Pacific Airlines'

The national flag carrier will buy out the 30% stake that Qantas has in Jetstar Pacific as well.

VnExpress reports that Vietnam Airlines plans to rename Jetstar to Pacific Airlines, in addition to restructuring its business. Qantas, the Australian aviation company, will divest its share in the budget airline, while VNA will increase its ownership share from 68.95% to 98%.

Pacific Airlines was the original name of Jetstar when the airline launched in 1991. Its reservation booking system will also be synchronized with VNA's, which will reduce costs of the company.

Trinh Hong Quang, deputy CEO of VNA and chairman of Jetstar Pacific, told the news source that the small carrier has struggled to compete since it only has 18 planes. He also cited Qantas' unfamiliarity with the Vietnamese market as a reason for its modest growth in the country.

In comparison, VietJet currently operates 68 aircraft, and expects to have 200 by 2025.

This move will increase VNA's hold on the domestic aviation market, as the group, which also includes the Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO), accounted for over 50% market share in 2019. VietJet made up 41.9% of the market.

Gareth Evans, CEO of the Jetstar Group, told The Saigon Times: "With a highly competitive domestic market in Vietnam and the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is the right time to leverage the strength and scale of Vietnam Airlines in its home market."

The rebranding is awaiting approval from the country's aviation authorities.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre]