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A&O helps Qantas launch new Japanese airline

A&O helps Qantas launch new Japanese airline

Allen & Overy has advised Qantas Airlines through its subsidiary Jetstar Airways on a joint venture with Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Corporation to establish a new low-cost carrier,…

Allen & Overy has advised Qantas Airlines through its subsidiary Jetstar Airways on a joint venture with Japan Airlines (JAL) and Mitsubishi Corporation to establish a new low-cost carrier, Jetstar Japan.

The new Japanese airline, which will fly domestic and international routes from Japan, was announced yesterday (16 August) by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who also revealed Qantas would slash 1000 jobs as part of a restructure to accommodate the set up of Jetstar Japan and a new premium airline based in Asia, as well as the purchase of up to 110 new Airbus 320 aircraft.

The total capitalisation commitment for Jetstar Japan is up to 12 billion Japanese yen ($150 million) with the initial fleet of 24 aircraft to be externally financed.

The joint venture between JAL and Mitsubishi forms part of Qantas' five-year strategic plan, which includes an enhancement of the joint services agreement with British Airways to strengthen the airline's Singapore focus.

A&O 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 and the Japan Fair Trade Commission.

"What it really emphasises is the importance of intra-Asian travel - the same with intra-Asian trade and investment, which is so critical to Australia and the region," Sydney-based A&O partner Michael Reede told Lawyers Weekly.

"In the Euro zone and North America, very, very low-cost carriers operate in that essentially domestic, regional environment. You don't find that in Asia but clearly the market is moving towards low-cost carriers like Jetstar."

Reede led the A&O advisory team with Sydney-based partner 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.

Jetstar Japan will be based in Tokyo's Narita International Airport and will fly to domestic destinations including Sapporo, Fukuoka and Naha from December 2012.

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