Jetstar Hong Kong parks A320s in Toulouse; awaits AOC approval

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Jetstar Hong Kong has taken delivery of a number of aircraft and is looking at ways to manage its fleet as it continues its wait for approval from the government to launch the airline.

When asked when the airline would start operations, the carrier would only say it is working closely with the local authorities "with a launch planned for 2014".

“As Jetstar Hong Kong is still progressing through the regulatory process, the Jetstar Hong Kong Board is evaluating options to manage their fleet in the short term, with a small number of aircraft currently in Toulouse,” says a spokeswoman when contacted by Flightglobal Pro.

“The Jetstar Group’s fleet order strategy allows for a flexible approach with the allocation of flying resources.”

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that the budget carrier has five International Aero Engines V2500-powered A320s in storage. These aircraft, all owned by Qantas Airways, are registered as F-WXAB, F-WXAC, F-WXAD, F-WHUK and F-WHUL.

The database also shows that the carrier has another 10 A320s on order.

Jetstar Hong Kong filed its application for an air operator's certificate last August, but has met with several roadblocks as carriers Cathay Airways, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines filed objections to Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licensing Authority.

The carriers argue that Jetstar Hong Kong would violate Hong Kong’s Basic Law if the airline’s strategy is set by Jetstar’s group headquarters in Australia. Qantas however says that the presence of a local chief executive and chairman demonstrates that its principal place of business will be in Hong Kong.

Jetstar Hong Kong had previously said that it hoped to launch services by the end of 2013 – already a push back from the original mid-2013 target – subject to the approval of its AOC. The carrier plans to grow to a fleet of 18 A320s by 2015.