Australia’s Qantas Airlines, Japan Airlines Ups Stake in Jetstar Japan

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 1, 2013 10:50 AM EST

Qantas Airlines of Australia and Japan Airlines on Thursday announced they will be increasing their stake ownership in low-cost subsidiary, Jetstar Japan.

Employees of Japan Airlines (JAL) work in front of the company logo at Haneda airport in Tokyo in this April 28, 2013 file photograph. Shares of Japan Airlines Co rose 2.1 percent in early trade on October 7, 2013 after sources said the company was close to sealing a multi-billion-dollar deal to buy EADS subsidiary Airbus's aircraft. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files (JAPAN - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT LOGO)

From 41.7 per cent, the two companies will seek to up their controllership into Jetstar Japan by 45.7 per cent through a combined financial injection of A$120 million (US$113.6 million).

Consequently, stake controllership of other partners Mitsubishi and Century Tokyo Leasing will decline 4.3 per cent, down from the previous 8.3 per cent.

Qantas, in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange, said the equity injection will "support Jetstar Japan's future fleet and infrastructure growth," which particularly meant funding aircraft purchases and infrastructure developments.

Jetstar Japan began operations in July 2012. It expects to grow its domestic destinations to a fleet of 24 planes from 18 planes that were sourced in just 18 months.

Jetstar Japan's fleet is primarily composed of 180-seater A320s.

However, Qantas might face delays in the additional lineup, spurred by corresponding interruptions in the opening of its Osaka hub at Kansai International Airport.

A Japan Airlines (JAL) aircraft flies near a JAL building at Tokyo's Haneda Airport in this October 27, 2009 file photo. When Japan Airlines Co broke with decades of tradition by buying long-haul jets from Europe's Airbus rather than U.S. rival Boeing Co, it informed the Japanese government by email without any prior warning. The deal, worth $9.5 billion at list prices, was a major blow for Boeing, which holds more than 80 percent of Japan's commercial-aviation market and has been intertwined with U.S-Japan diplomatic relations since shortly after World War Two. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/Files (JAPAN BUSINESS - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)

Masaru Onishi, JAL chairman, had said in June at the IATA's annual meeting that its success depended on the timing of international short-haul routes to destinations such as Taiwan, China and South Korea.

Total number of passengers carried since start of operations hit 3 million passengers.

According to Macquarie Equities, this latest injection by Australia's Qantas in various Jetstar branches in Asia correspond to $277 million.

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