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03/26/2012 08:36 am ET

Jetstar Hong Kong: Qantas And China Eastern Collaborate On New Budget Airline

Qantas, the beleaguered Australian airline, will soon team up with China Eastern Airlines to launch a China-based low-cost carrier.

The new venture, called Jetstar Hong Kong, will fly short-haul routes in China as well as to Japan, Southeast Asia and South Korea beginning in 2013, reports News.com.au. The Jetstar brand is already part of Qantas' portfolio.

"Jetstar's vision is to make travel more affordable for millions of people across Asia, and the demographics of China with its booming middle class are a key part of that plan," Jetstar Group's Chief Executive Officer Bruce Buchanan said in a statement, according to the AP.

Jetstar Hong Kong will launch with three Airbus A320s, and will add 15 more by 2015. According to the BBC, the joint venture will have $198 million in capital.

Jetstar Hong Kong's fares will be 50 percent lower than those of full service carriers.

Qantas' existing Jetstar brand has had its fair share of issues in the past. In September, a New Zealand man died en route from Singapore to Auckland; his body was moved to a crew area of the plane and the flight continued, much to his fellow passengers' chagrin. Last summer, a drunk passenger urinated in the plane's aisle. Jetstar was considering a lifetime ban on the man. Last July, the airline banned a disabled child with Down Syndrome from flying after it was his stroller was deemed too big. And, who could forget the couple that was arrested after joining the Mile-High Club on a flight.

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