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NEWS UPDATES 6 January 2010

Malaysia’s AirAsia, Jetstar in nonequity alliance

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Malaysia's AirAsia and Australia-based Jetstar announced a nonequity alliance Wednesday designed to help the two budget airlines reduce costs, the Associated Press reported.

Key to the agreement signed in Sydney is a proposed joint specification for the next generation of narrow body aircraft, the airlines said in a statement. The airlines will consider buying aircraft together so that bigger orders lower the cost per plane.

The airlines ll also share aircraft parts and cooperate on passenger handling at airports in Australia and Asia.

Qantas Airways chief executive Alan Joyce said the Australian flagship airline's budget subsidiary and AirAsia would gain a natural advantage in one of the world's most competitive aviation markets through the alliance.

"Jetstar and AirAsia offer unmatched reach in the Asia-Pacific region ... and this new alliance will enable them to maximise that scale," Joyce said in a statement. AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes described the agreement as a logical development.

"AirAsia strongly believes the strategic tie-up will help the airline maintain its position as the lowest-cost airline in the world despite rising costs associated with the fledgling global economic recovery," Fernandes said in the statement.

Qantas shares rose 1.69 percent to 3.01 Australian dollars ($2.75) in early trading after the announcement.


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