Hong Kong conglomerate Shun Tak Holdings has taken a significant stake in the city’s first low-cost carrier, Jetstar Hong Kong.
The company, which was founded by Macau gaming tycoon Stanley Ho, has agreed to purchase a third of the new airline, in an equal split with existing investors Qantas and China Southern Airlines.
The deal adds to Shun Tak’s current interests in the Pearl River Delta transport sector, including the TurboJET ferry service which connects Jetstar Hong Kong’s home base at Hong Kong International Airport with Macau and Shenzhen, and cross-border coach services.
And Jetstar Hong Kong’s chief executive officer, Edward Lau, said this local experience would be beneficial to the new low-cost carrier.
“Shun Tak’s long history in tourism and transportation businesses will further deepen the experience behind Jetstar Hong Kong,” Lau said. “Having a strong local partner in Hong Kong like Shun Tak, who understands the revolution we want to bring to Hong Kong air travel, is of great benefit.
“We see enormous potential for a local LCC in Hong Kong and our low fares model will stimulate a new market, bringing significant opportunities to Hong Kong’s local tourism sector and our broader economy,” he added.
Shun Tak’s managing director, Pansy Ho, agreed that Jetstar Hong Kong would complement the company’s regional transport portfolio.
“It has long been our vision to create an air-sea-land network that seamlessly connects the Pearl River Delta and facilitate its integration,” she said. “We believe a low-cost airline will be most efficient in driving growth across the leisure sector, and bring benefits to the complete visitor economy for Hong Kong, as well as contribute to the sustainable development of Hong Kong as the top aviation hub.”
As well as their transportation interests, Shun Tak has a strong foothold in the hotel and MICE sectors, with interests in Macau Golf & Country Club, Mandarin Oriental Macau, Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel and Macau Tower Convention & Entertainment Centre.
Jetstar Hong Kong is currently seeking regulatory approval to launch, which it expects to receive by the end of 2013. By 2015, the LCC plans to operate a fleet of 18 Airbus A320 aircraft, flying to destinations in Southeast Asia, Japan, South Korea and mainland China.