Vietravel Airlines Slated to Take Off in Q2, 2020

10:09:27 AM | 5/11/2019

Vietravel Airlines Co., Ltd was established in late February 2019. Recently, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) has appraised Vietravel Airlines air passenger transport project for meeting conditions to apply for the Prime Minister’s investment approval.

Tourism and aviation are inextricably linked. Tourism depends on Aviation to bring visitors, while the Aviation depends on tourism to generate demand for its services. The growth in tourism industry directly reflects onto the air transportation. Moreover, the recent Government policies has facilitated the private sector participation in civil aviation.

The Vietnam's aviation sector has seen remarkable growth in 2019, which is positively appreciated by international organizations and associations. The Airports Council International (ACI) forecasts that Vietnam is one of the world’s fastest-growing passenger market among those with more than 50 million passengers in the period of 2016-2040 and the world's fifth fastest-growing  aviation market, reaching 150 million passengers by 2035.

In this favorable context of the Vietnamese aviation sector, Vietravel, one of the largest tour companies in the country, has been operating successfully more than 300 charter flights with its partners from 2018 in both domestically and internationally, applied for establishing its own air carrier called  Vietravel Airlines in February 2019, laying a stepping stone to complete the value chain of the Vietravel-branded ecosystem.

Mr. Vu Duc Bien, General Director of Vietravel Airlines, said that the difference between Vietravel Airlines and other domestic carriers is it is operated under the charter flight model. In fact, Vietravel has operated many charter flights under contracts signed with Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific from 2015 to the present. In 2018 alone, the firm had nearly 300 charter flights. When in operation, Vietravel Airlines will focus on domestic and foreign tourists of Vietravel and others.

Vietravel Airlines is based in Phu Bai Airport, a choice that received great support from the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee. The company immediately got leased 7.5 hectares of land next to Phu Bai Airport for building aircraft workshops, ground repair services, and maintenance services. The design of the base has been already completed and submitted to the Thua Thien Hue Provincial People’s Committee, the Ministry of Transport, and the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam. The fleet will increase from three airplanes in the first year to six in the second year and Vietravel Airlines does not worry about parking. Vietravel Group now has 50 offices of 27 branches across the country, enabling it to fly from any province or city. Recently, Vietravel has organized charter flights from Thanh Hoa, Cat Bi, Van Don, Vinh, Can Tho, Da Nang, Phu Yen, Binh Dinh and Lien Khuong.

Vietravel Airlines plans to operate three narrow-body aircraft, like Airbus A320/A321 or Boeing B737 or similar, and wide-body aircraft like Airbus A330/A350 or Boeing B787 or similar models. In the next five years, its fleet will grow to 20-30 aircraft. While completing the legal framework, which is currently being submitted to the Ministry of Transport and the Prime Minister for approval, Vietravel Airlines has urgently completed the leadership. Mr. Nguyen Anh Vu was appointed Deputy General Director in charge of aircraft maintenance and Mr. Nguyen Quang Son was named Deputy General Director in charge of ground operations. The two appointees have over 30 years of leadership experience in the aviation industry.

In addition to consolidating personnel and completing the legal framework, Vietravel Airlines has worked with international aviation human resource organizations such as Brookfiel Aviation and Sigma Aviation Services to hire specialists, especially pilots and aircraft mechanics. In the personnel training plan, the airline will recruit and send basic pilots to training facilities certified or approved by the CAAV. The long-term strategy is to hire foreign pilots, train and recruit pilots rather than enticing from other firms in the complex context of the human resource market today.

Vietravel Airlines aims to use about 55% of seats and loads for its parent Vietravel Group, and to meet 35-40% of the air travel demand of its customers. For the rest 60-65% of the demand, Vietravel will continue to use regular flights operated by other airlines. About 45% of the seats and loads, Vietravel Airlines will serve other travel companies and other customers on charter flights.

By market, Vietravel Airlines will be a charter carrier for tourists. This is a huge market. In the first months of 2019, about 19,000-20,000 charter flights of foreign airlines landed in Vietnam. Notably, in 2017, there were up to 51,000 charter flights but Vietravel Group had just 300-400 flights. Therefore, the charter flight market share of Vietnamese companies is too small; this will be the main market for Vietravel Airlines.

For domestic routes, Vietravel Airlines advocates secondary airports in major destinations such as Chu Lai for Da Nang - Quang Nam - Quang Ngai areas, Van Don and Hai Phong for Quang Ninh - Hanoi - Hai Phong areas, and Can Tho for the Mekong Delta region, to avoid congestion.

For international routes, the flight network will depart from Vietnam to Southeast Asian nations like Malaysia and Singapore, Northeast Asian countries and territories such as South Korea, Taiwan (China), Japan and China; and Southwest Asian countries such as India and Maldives.

Vietravel also strives to have Vietravel Airlines’ flight network expanded to the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, England, France and the North American market from the fourth year of commercial operation.