A joint venture between Qantas and Chinese Eastern Airlines will see a low-budget airline launched in 2013 based in Hong Kong, reports AFP.

Jetstar Hong Kong, an extension of Qantas’s budget brand Jetstar, will offer fares at half the prices charged by other carriers in China, according to chief executive Bruce Buchanan.

He pointed out that lower costs allow people to make “more trips, more often”. When it launches mid-way through next year, the company will only add another three Airbus A320 aircraft to flight radar results, but this should rise to 18 by 2015, reported Reuters.

“This is a unique opportunity to capitalise on the enormous potential of the Greater China market, where the penetration of low-cost carriers is less than five per cent,” said Mr Buchanan.

Almost 300 million passengers travel around the Greater China region currently and this figure is projected to grow to 450 million in 2015, Qantas claimed.

The Australian company and China Eastern will invest up to $198 million (£123 million) over the coming three years in the project, which will see the pair attempt to dominate the short-haul market through Jetstar.

Currently, the Jetstar brand covers close to 60 destinations around Asia Pacific and is expected to carry around 60 million people during the 2012 fiscal year.

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