By Ross Kelly and Chester Yung
Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas Airways Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/205878984/delayed DE:QAN -4.46% , criticized Hong Kong authorities for rejecting his plan to establish a new low-cost carrier in the Chinese territory.
“At a time when aviation markets across Asia are opening up, Hong Kong is going in the opposite direction,” Mr. Joyce said in a strongly worded statement Friday.
“Given the importance of aviation to global commerce, shutting the door to new competition can only serve the vested interests already installed in that market,” he added.
Hong Kong on Thursday rejected an application by Jetstar to set up a locally based airline, dealing a blow to the no-frills unit of the Australian carrier on its Asian expansion plans.
Hong Kong’s Air Transport Licensing Authority, or ATLA, said Jetstar Hong Kong didn’t comply with a legal requirement that locally registered airlines have their principal place of business in Hong Kong, with management and control exercised within the city.