Vietjet to launch e-commerce platform

By Dat Nguyen   July 4, 2019 | 12:53 am PT
Vietjet to launch e-commerce platform
Vietjet plans to launch an e-commerce platform within two years. Photo by Shutterstock/ Chittapon Kaewkiriya.
Budget airline Vietjet Air plans to open an e-commerce platform as it seeks to diversify its business interests.

Vietjet vice chairwoman Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh said the airline aims to roll out the service within two years, using its abundant consumer data, in partnership with banks, hotels and other companies.

"All the suppliers and partners will join our platform to provide products and services to not only our 30 million passengers but also hundreds of millions of customers in Vietnam and other parts of the world," she told the Nikkei Asian Review.

Binh said the platform will cover banking, insurance and other financial services, as well as hotels and consumer goods. Vietjet’s announcement follows a diversification trend in the industry.

Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia has announced it is also seeking different ways to profit from customer data. AirAsia will invest $20 million a year in diversification, particularly through ancillary services like selling holiday packages and car rental services on its website.

Last year, Vietjet saw its revenues from ancillary services such as on-flight food and souvenirs reach over VND8.4 trillion ($360.94 million), up 10 times from 2014. Its ancillary services accounted for a quarter of its total revenue. In the first quarter this year, the airlines’ ancillary revenues alone grew 45 percent.

Vietjet is set to join an e-commerce market currently dominated by the likes of Shopee, Tiki and Lazada, which have been investing heavily in different strategies to acquire a larger customer base.

E-commerce sales rose 30 percent from 2017 to over $8 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The Internet economy accounted for 4 percent of Vietnam's GDP in terms of gross merchandise volume last year, the highest ratio in Southeast Asia, according to Google and Temasek.

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