Thien Minh Group chairman launches $43 mln aviation company

By Hung Le   June 28, 2019 | 09:41 pm PT
Thien Minh Group chairman launches $43 mln aviation company
Thien Minh Group chairman Tran Trong Kien at a tourism forum in Hanoi in December 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
TMG chairman Tran Trong Kien has incorporated a new aviation company 2 months after a joint venture plan with AirAsia collapsed.

The new aviation company, called Thien Minh Aviation JSC, has been granted a business registration certificate with a chartered capital of VND1 trillion ($43 million), headquartered in Hoi An Town, the central province of Quang Nam.

Thien Minh Aviation is 30 percent owned by TMG, one of Vietnam's biggest travel and hospitality groups; 60 percent by its chairman Tran Trong Kien; and 10 percent by Tran Hang Thu, the group’s financial director.

The new company is registered to operate in seven industries, including air passenger transport, air cargo transport, and aircraft leasing. Kien is the chairman cum general director of the new company.

He is currently general director of Hai Au Aviation JSC, a seaplane airline which provides flights services to sightsee famous tourist destinations in Vietnam such as Ha Long, Hue, and Da Nang.

Thien Minh Group also owns Hai Au airlines, which operates seaplanes. Photo courtesy of TMG.

Thien Minh Group also owns Hai Au airlines, which operates seaplanes. Photo courtesy of TMG.

Earlier, Kien had expressed his intention to pursue business in commercial aviation after AirAsia ended its agreement with Gumin Ltd, Hai Au Aviation and Tran Trong Kien to set up a joint venture low-cost airline in April.

Kien announced then that he will continue to do business in aviation in a way more suitable with local conditions, while AirAsia said that it still wanted to operate a low-cost airline in Vietnam in the future due to "its favorable geographical location, expanding aviation market and overall growth potential."

Currently, Vietnam has five commercial airlines licensed to fly, namely Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar, VASCO and Bamboo Airways. Apart from Thien Minh, Vietstar Airlines and Vietravel Airlines are also companies vying to be the sixth.

Vietstar Airlines is still waiting for its flight license, despite having applied in mid-2016 with a charter capital of VND300 billion ($12.88 million). Vietravel Airlines also submitted its application earlier this month, with an investment of around VND1 trillion ($43 million).

Tran Trong Kien has been known as a pioneer in many adventure tours in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. He ran local tours to fund his medical studies before founding Buffalo Tours in 1994. Over the past 23 years of establishment and development, Kien has lead his business to become one of the biggest travel and hospitality groups in the region.

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