Part Qantas owned Vietnamese low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific is to be renamed as Qantas exits the business. Pending regulatory approval, Qantas will sell its 30% stake in the airline to majority owner Vietnam Airlines, who will then undertake a rebranding of the carrier to bring it in line with the parent company’s identity. The carrier will revert to the name it had when it was a state-owned entity: Pacific Airlines.
Back to Pacific Airlines
Vietnamese airline Jetstar Pacific is undergoing a rebrand. In some ways, it could be said to be an un-branding, as it is going to revert back to its previous name of Pacific Airlines. The airline has been known as Jetstar Pacific since 2008, when the Vietnamese government sold a portion of its shares to Australian flag carrier Qantas.
Since then, Vietnam Airlines has become the majority shareholder. In 2012, it bought a 68% stake in Jetstar Pacific, but kept the name and brand the same. Now, as Vietnam Airlines aims to align the low-cost carrier more closely with its own brand, plans are being made to take the airline back to its roots with a rebrand back to Pacific Airlines.
Vietnam Airlines Executive Vice President and Pacific Airlines Chairman, Trinh Hong Quang, commented on the decision in a statement,
“Low-cost carriers will play a certain role in supporting the return of travel as restrictions ease, and by streamlining functions, Pacific Airlines can remain competitive, inherit many of the efficiencies of Vietnam Airlines and continue to offer the low fares our customers expect.
“We are optimistic that the dual brand strategy will leverage the brand and resources of Vietnam Airlines, and by undergoing innovation and improvisation, we will continue to see Vietnam Airlines Group maintain its position of leadership in the Vietnamese domestic market now and into the future.”
The rebrand will come with a new logo and livery, inspired by Vietnam Airlines’ own identity. The airline will also switch to a new reservation system, designed to streamline operations and improve both profitability and the customer experience.
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Qantas to leave the partnership
The move away from the Jetstar brand comes as 30% shareholder, Qantas, has revealed plans to exit its involvement in the carrier. Vietnam Airlines intends to increase its ownership stake, through the purchase of Qantas’ portion, to 98%.
The deal will still need to undergo regulatory approvals and will likely take several months to take effect. In a statement seen by Simple Flying, CEO of Jetstar Gareth Evans said that,
“We’ve been in discussions with Vietnam Airlines for some time about the challenges facing Jetstar Pacific, which have obviously intensified through the COVID crisis.”
At the current time, the rest of the Jetstar group appears to be safe. Alan Joyce said last month that he was weighing options for Jetstar Pacific, but that its other offshoots were still core assets to Qantas. The brand has subsidiaries in Japan, Singapore and New Zealand.
Quang believes Vietnam Airlines can turn around the low-cost carrier, to make it a robust addition to Vietnamese aviation. Quang told VNExpress that the airline has never really broken through in the Vietnamese market, despite being in business for some time. He believes that a lack of understanding of the local market and not enough capacity has caused the airline to suffer.
Perhaps a Vietnamese touch can bring the new Pacific Airways the good fortune it deserves. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.