Jetstar Hong Kong’s application for regulatory approval may have stalled, but the proposed Hong Kong low cost carrier continues to build its brand.
The LCC airline, part owned by Australian carrier Qantas, China Eastern Airlines and Shun Tak Holdings, has unveiled a series of branded content cartoons catering to the local market.
The animated series aims to correct a misconception of the low-cost carrier industry.
The campaign comprises three comic episodes and short comical videos in collaboration with local cartoonist Siuhak to focus on educating locals about the wider fare options and flexible choices that LCCs provide to the local travel market.
The ads have been running on Hong Kong media portals like Next Media’s Apple Daily.
The low-cost joint venture was originally expected to begin operations in the middle of this year, but has yet to jump the regulatory hurdle amid strong opposition from incumbent airlines such as Cathay Pacific.
Since announcing Jetstar Hong Kong Airways on 4 September 2012 as a joint venture between Qantas and China Eastern Airlines, the airline has been aiming to build the brand.
It has appointed Waggener Edstrom Hong Kong to manage public relations.
With regulatory approval expected by the end of the 2013 calendar year, Jetstar Hong Kong has already planned to grow up to 18 aircraft within the medium term. It has built up a local management team, started pilot and cabin crew recruitment as well as advanced its Air Operators Certificate application – although its parent company admits it is still in a start-up phase.
“The inherent risk associated with start-up operations, including obtaining necessary regulatory approvals, is being mitigated through selection of strong local partners, leveraging their strength in each market and sharing risk through appropriate equity structures,” Qantas said in a statement earlier this year.
Nearly 70% of Hong Kong residents surveyed in August this year said they intended to travel on a low cost carrier in the next 12 months despite LCCs only representing 6% of all flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.
The research, conducted by the Public Opinion Programme at the University of Hong Kong on behalf of Jetstar Hong Kong, also confirmed the ongoing appetite from local residents for more low cost travel with 84% saying they would welcome more LCCs to the market.
Jetstar Hong Kong said it expects to contribute up to HK$8 billion to the Hong Kong economy per annum when the carrier is fully operational.
“Since announcing Jetstar Hong Kong last year, we have seen our competitive landscape respond,” Jetstar Hong Kong CEO Edward Lau said in August.
“Jetstar Hong Kong will be the instigator of positive change, driving down fares and making air travel more accessible to more people with our successful, proven, low cost carrier model.”
To encourage social interaction in the Jetstar Hong Kong brand, a series of quiz game games have been released along side the animated cartoon series which runs on Facebook until 24 December.
The three episodes are under the titles of “Luggage”, “Meal” and “New Aircraft”.
Jetstar – Panda Comic – Luggage
Jetstar – Panda Comic – Meal
Jetstar – Panda Comic – New Aircraft