Starting next year, the fledgeling Vietravel Airlines will become Vietnam’s sixth domestic airline. Owned by tour operator Vietravel, the flyer is currently putting the finishing touches to the licenses and certificates needed to launch its maiden charter flight, slated for next November. Once airborne, the bulk of the new carrier’s services will be international flights, targeting markets such as Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia and China.
Vietravel Airlines will begin operations in the first quarter of 2020 with three to four leased planes, and plans to order its own Airbus SE or Boeing Co narrow-body jets at the Singapore Airshow in February. According to chief executive Vu Duc Bien, in a recent interview with Reuters, these aircraft will be operational within five years. Bien also confirmed that Vietravel Airlines plans to operate three to four aircraft in the first year, then expand to a fleet of six in the second year, then eight or ten within five years, ultimately aiming for a fleet of 20 to 30 aircraft.
According to Bien, Vietravel Airlines has already raised VND700 billion (US$30 million) via a bond sale, and plans to sell up to 34 per cent stake in the company to domestic investors within a year of operations. Vietravel’s chief executive also confirmed that several local banks have committed to investing in the airline’s expansion plans.
Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets, with double-digit annual growth rate and new routes opening all the time to meet demand. The addition of another new airline is indicative of the country’s growth, its popularity and its potential.