Vietnam tourism firm latest to apply for airline license

By Vien Thong, Thi Ha   April 3, 2019 | 11:42 am GMT+7
Vietnam tourism firm latest to apply for airline license
Vietravel is set to be the sixth airline in Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham

Giant tour company Vietravel is seeking to set up an airline to develop its tourism business ecosystem.

Its chairman and CEO, Nguyen Quoc Ky, said at an event Tuesday that the company has applied for a license to launch Vietravel Airlines in Thua Thien – Hue Province.

If the central province’s transport department approves the proposal, it will forward the application to the government for final approval.

Ky said global travel companies are now tending to operate their own aircraft. "They are completing their ecosystem, and [Vietravel] needs to do the same to step out into the world."

Vietravel, one of the largest tour companies in the country, organizes charter flights with its partners. For the last two years it has been operating around 300 charter flights a year both domestically and internationally.

But aviation experts warn that operating an entire airline would be a whole different ball game, requiring investment in personnel and infrastructure to meet aviation regulations.

In Vietnam a company needs to have a charter capital of at least VND700 billion ($30.24 million) if it operates 10 aircraft, VND1 trillion ($43.19 million) in case of 11-30 aircraft and VND1.3 trillion ($56.15 million) for over 30 aircraft.

There are five airlines in Vietnam: state-owned Vietnam Airlines, Vietnam Air Services Company (VASCO) and budget carriers Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific and start-up Bamboo. Vietnam Airlines owns a majority stake in VASCO and Jetstar Pacific.

Local airlines served almost 50 million passengers last year, up 10 percent from 2017, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam.

 
 
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