Jetstar has sold all but one of its Hong Kong planes before operations tests have even begun

Picture: Getty Images

Jetstar Hong Kong, still awaiting regulatory approval, has left itself with just one Airbus A320 to use for air operators certificate testing.

The joint venture airline, established by China Eastern, Shun Tak Holdings and Jetstar Airways, has suffered a lengthy launch approval process since its beginnings in 2012 when it started with nine A320 aircraft.

Jetstar Hong Kong chief executive Edward Lau says the sale of two of its three remaining A320s was due to a “prudent management of costs” and would not affect the airline’s “readiness to launch” operations, The Australian reported.

“Jetstar Hong Kong has the flexibility to ensure we can grow our fleet after commencing operations,” he said.

In January, Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licensing Authority held an inquiry examining Jetstar Hong Kong’s business proposal. However, Cathay Pacific has long argued against Jetstar’s insertion into the Hong Kong aviation market.

In October the SMH reported that Hong Kong’s flag carrier claimed Jetstar’s operations would be a “branch office of Qantas” and thus fails to meet the legal definition of a local entity.

However, the airline’s Hong-Kong based equity partner Shun Tak, added after the $198 million 50-50 joint venture between Jetstar and China Eastern was established, now controls 51% of the voting rights in the business.

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