The Qantas Group saga in Vietnam – which at one point saw several of its staff held by local authorities amid a fuel hedging scandal – has taken another twist. It is is now financial partners in Jetstar Pacific with former competitor, state-owned Vietnam Airlines, which acquired the 70% shareholding formerly held by the Vietnamese State Capital Investment Corporation. Qantas Group owns the remaining 30%.

Chief Executive of the Qantas Group, Alan Joyce, said: “This partnership brings together the proven low cost model of Jetstar with the unique local knowledge and existing networks of national carrier, Vietnam Airlines,” said Mr Joyce.

“We are confident this partnership between a low cost carrier and a full service airline in Vietnam can replicate the success of our Qantas and Jetstar strategy in Australia, and follows our recent partnership with Japan Airlines to form Jetstar Japan.”

Jetstar Pacific will receive an initial capital injection of $25 million, including $7.5 million from the Qantas Group, replace the carrier’s Boeing 737s with new A320s from mid-2012.

The aim is to grow Jetstar Pacific’s fleet to grow to 15 A320s within the next few years.

This announcement is a long way from the tension of 2008 when the carrier experienced $31 million in fuel hedging losses and the Vietnam Government looked for someone to blame. See SMH story.

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