Jetstar Pacific reports first profit in 8 years, plans expansion

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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 An undated photo shows passengers boarding Jetstar Pacific aircraft. Photo: Mai Vong
Low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific, a joint venture between national carrier Vietnam Airlines and Australia's Qantas, ended last year with profits of VND267 million (US$11,800), the first ever since 2008, the airline reported on Wednesday.
Speaking to the press, CEO Le Hong Ha attributed the positive results to overhaul attempts over the years, such as reducing costs and cooperation with Vietnam Airlines.
In light of the profits, the shareholders have agreed to earmark $139 million for Jetstar Pacific to double its fleet from 15 aircraft at the moment in the next five years, he said.
Official figures showed Jetstar Pacific, which currently operates 31 international and domestic routes, controlled 14.9 percent of the domestic air passenger market last year. Vietnam Airlines has 40.8 percent of the market and VietJet, a budget carrier, 36.3 percent. 
Jetstar Pacific was formed from the restructuring of state-controlled charter cargo carrier Pacific Airlines in 2008, when the Australian carrier acquired a stake of 30 percent.
Four years later, sovereign fund State Capital Investment Corporation transferred its stake of 70 percent to Vietnam Airlines.

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