Jetstar Hong Kong has sold another three Airbus A320s, leaving it with a fleet of only three aircraft.
The airline confirmed that the latest three were acquired recently by an airline in China, and it has now sold a total of six aircraft.
“This has been an unfortunate but prudent business decision made by the Jetstar Hong Kong board as the regulatory approvals are taking longer than initially expected,” says the airline’s chief executive Edward Lau. “The sale of the additional three aircraft does not change the airline’s position and readiness to launch once regulatory approval is given.”
In April the airline sold three aircraft to lessors. Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database indicates that two A320s (MSNs 5894 and 5971) were purchased by Bank of Communications Financial Leasing, while a third (MSN 5928) was sold to an unnamed institution. All three aircraft have been leased to Tianjin Airlines.
Jetstar Hong Kong, which is a joint venture between Qantas Airways, China Eastern Airlines and Shun Tak Holdings, had planned to launch operations by the end of 2013 but has not yet received an air operator's certificate.
The airline's application for an air operator's certificate has faced objections from competitors Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express. All three carriers have argued that Jetstar Hong Kong's ultimate control would be in Australia, which would violate Hong Kong's Basic Law.
Neither Jetstar Hong Kong nor the Civil Aviation Department have indicated when the application is expected to be ruled on.