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Qantas gifts Vietnam Airlines entire 30% stake in Pacific Airlines

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 15:29 GMT+7
Qantas gifts Vietnam Airlines entire 30% stake in Pacific Airlines
An aircraft of Pacific Airlines is seen at an airport in Vietnam in this supplied photo taken in July 2020.

Pacific Airlines’ former shareholder Qantas Airways is completing procedures for its already-announced withdrawal from the joint venture and will give all of its 30 percent stake in the budget carrier as a gift to Vietnam Airlines, the latter said in a statement on Tuesday.

Qantas’ low-cost arm Jetstar previously owned 30 percent in Jetstar Pacific Airlines, while Vietnam Airlines holds nearly 70 percent.

In June, Vietnam Airlines announced Qantas Airways’ plans to transfer its 30 percent stake in Pacific Airlines to the Vietnamese flag carrier.

On Tuesday, Dang Anh Tuan, head of Vietnam Airlines' corporate communications department, announced that Qantas will not sell the shares at VND0 or VND1 but give them to the Vietnamese national carrier. 

The chosen method of transfer was also reported to the Committee for Management of State Capital (CMSC) at enterprises, agencies, and the state government.

“Administering agencies have basically agreed [with the transfer method] and are doing some more procedural steps on takeover and business plans,” Tuan said.

The transfer is slated for completion at the end of this month, according to him.

The rebranding procedures to change to Pacific Airlines from its previous name Jetstar Pacific Airlines were also completed, according to Nguyen Dang Cuong — Pacific Airlines’ deputy general manager of commerce.

Pacific Airlines also switched to Saber — a flight booking system used by Vietnam Airlines.

The budget carrier was found in 1991, named Pacific Airlines, and operated by shareholders that were state-owned enterprises.

Qantas’s involvement in Pacific Airlines dated from 2007, when it received approval from the Vietnamese government to buy a 30-percent stake in the Vietnamese carrier and change its name to Jetstar Pacific Airlines.

In 2012, Vietnam Airlines took over the government’s stake in Jetstar to become its majority shareholder.

In July 2020, Jetstar Pacific Airlines returned to its original name, Pacific Airlines.

Pacific Airlines incurred a loss of VND1.1 trillion (US$47.5 million) in the first eight months and is forecast to rack up VND1.6 trillion ($69 million) in the red by the end of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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