Low cost carrier Jetstar, part of the crumbling Qantas empire, recorded a pre-tax loss of – $16 million for the six months to Dec 31 compared with a $128 million profit the previous year, largely blaming Jetstar Asia for the shocking result.

“Competitive pressure on yields (especially in Southeast Asia), a $29m share of associate losses and fuel price and forex impacts were the main factors,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

He said the Jetstar Asia board has suspended all growth plans until conditions improve.

“The over-arching focus in Asia continues to be profitably bedding down existing businesses and partnerships.

“Jetstar has been a pioneer Australian brand across Asia and we continue to see major opportunities for it in the world’s fastest-growing aviation region.”

Jetstar’s Australian operations remained profitable, Mr Joyce said.

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