Reuter’s reports that the fast-expanding Indonesian airline Lion Air Group is involved in discussions with Qantas Airways aimed at obtaining a share in the Australian carrier's Singapore-based affiliate Jetstar.
At stake is a 49% share of Jetstar Asia Airways.
An unnamed source says the discussions have been underway for several months but are still at what is described as an “early stage.”
Assuming a deal can be struck, permission to go ahead with the acquisition would be subject to approval by the Singaporean government.
Meanwhile, Singapore Civil Aviation authorities, Qantas, Jetstar and Lion Air Group are all refusing to comment on the discussions, with a Qantas spokesman labeling the new as “speculation.”
Qantas is suffering stiff competition and is reported to have suffered deep losses in the second half of 2013.
Trying to halt financial hemorrhaging, Qantas has cut staff, reduced spending and sold off aircraft deemed to be fuel guzzlers. At the same time, any expansion programs for Jetstar have been put on hold.
Lion Air now has a combined fleet of more than 500 aircraft and has long declared an interest in getting a foothold in the lucrative Australian aviation market,
Ambitious in its future plans, Lion Air want to double its fleet by 2030 and is floating ideas of operating its own airport quartered within an exclusive residential complex.
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