SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore's low-cost carriers Jetstar Asia and Valuair Ltd. said Monday they have called off possible merger talks - in what would have been the first consolidation in Asia's cutthroat budget airline industry.
''In the airline industry, you can grow organically or through acquisitions. The Valuair opportunity gave us the chance to do both at the same time,'' Jetstar chief executive Ken Ryan said in a statement. ''It would have been good if we were able to reach agreement, but the fact that we didn't doesnt impact our ongoing business expansion.''
It was not immediately clear why the airlines were considering integration but analysts have said carriers are suffering because of soaring jet fuel prices, now well above US$60 a barrel.
On Sunday, Singapore Airlines Ltd. chief executive Chew Choon Seng said the global airline industry needs to consolidate as soaring oil prices continue to undermine profits. Singapore Airlines, the world's second largest carrier by market capitalization, controls the third Singapore-based fare-slasher _ Tiger Airways.
Jetstar is 49 percent owned by Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd.
Jetstar said in the same statement it was also seeking flying rights to Calcutta in India and Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in Cambodia.