THE Sydney office of Allen & Overy has advised Qantas Airlines, through its subsidiary Jetstar Airways on a joint venture with Japan Airlines and Mitsubishi Corporation to establish Jetstar Japan.
The new low-cost carrier will fly domestic and international routes within and to and from Japan. It will be based in Tokyo's Narita International Airport, and will fly to domestic destinations including Sapporo, Fukuoka and Naha from December next year.
The total capitalisation commitment for the new airline is up to JPY 12 billion. In addition, the initial fleet of 24 aircraft will be externally financed.
The Jetstar Japan joint venture is a core component of Qantas’ five year strategic plan, announced yesterday by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.
Other initiatives included an enhancement of the longstanding joint services agreement with British Airways (to strengthen their Singapore hub), an investment in a new premium airline based in Asia and a major fleet order for up to 110 Airbus 320 aircraft.
Allen & Overy advised on the negotiations with JAL and Mitsubishi in addition to discussions with a range of Japanese regulators including the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), and the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
Sydney-based partner Michael Reede led the advisory team and commented: "This transaction represents a major milestone for the expansion of the Jestar network. It is a clear demonstration of Allen & Overy's global network and its ability to seamlessly assist its clients on complex cross border transactions".
Tokyo-based Bengoshi partner Nobuo Nakata, who led the team in Japan, said: "This was a first for the Japanese market and presented a range of matters that required us to engage constructively with a number of regulators in Japan, including the JFTC and the MLIT. We were able to assist Qantas in establishing a very positive relationship with the Japanese regulators."
The Allen & Overy team was led by Sydney-based partners Michael Reede and Jason Huinink, Tokyo-based Bengoshi partner Nobuo Nakata and Hong Kong-based partner Will McAuliffe. They were assisted by counsel Jeremy White, associates Mitsuharu Kataoka, Jarrad Cooper, and Paul Sullivan and paralegal Kyoko Naka.