The Geelong Advertiser has overnight proved the worth of locally active newspapers with a scoop on the $11 million deal by which Qantas low fare subsidiary Jetstar will stay at Avalon Airport until at least 2015.
This will quite possibly mean the deal will also outlast the current management and board at Qantas, given the inconsistency of the campaign by Group CEO Alan Joyce against competitor Virgin Australia, and his five year dividend free running of the business being crowned with S&P downgrading Qantas group debt to junk status.
Avalon Airport has a very big upside as greater Melbourne becomes … greater … and is endowed with space, and smart owners.
By 2015 it is conceivable, although not on most current analysis likely, that Jetstar may have been spun off in part or full by Qantas to raise the capital it can no longer command with a junked share price.
Avalon could become to Melbourne what Stansted or Luton became to London, which are respectively strongholds for low cost giants Ryanair and easyJet. Hopefully it will not become what Beauvais is to Paris, which is an alternative airport way, way too far by both distance or access.
New owners for Jetstar, or Qantas, could have the vision and money to do this. Avalon’s owners will be hoping so. This morning, for them, the outlook is much better than it was recently.