Vingroup seeks airline license, to fly from mid-2020

By Doan Loan, Nguyen Ha   August 21, 2019 | 10:33 pm PT
Vingroup seeks airline license, to fly from mid-2020
Vinpearl Air plans to base in Hanoi's Noi Bai International Airport. Photo by Shutterstock/Sitthipong Pengjan.
Vingroup has applied for an airline license with investment of VND4.7 trillion ($202 million) and wants to start flying next July.

It wants to begin Vinpearl Air's operations with a fleet of six aircraft, which would be increased by six annually to 36 by 2025, according to its license application to the Hanoi Authority for Planning and Investment.

Vinpearl Air plans to use narrow-body Airbus A320, A321 or Boeing B737 and wide-body Airbus A330, A350 or Boeing 787.

Based in Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, it wants to operate on 62 domestic and 93 international routes.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) told the Ministry of Transport in a comment on the proposal on Wednesday that Vinpearl Air is qualified to operate 30 aircraft by 2025 based on its financial capability and training facilities. But 36 might exceed market demand in 2025, it said and suggested 30 aircraft instead.

In Vietnam, an investment of VND1.3 trillion ($56 million) is needed for an airline to operate 30 aircraft.

A Vingroup spokesperson declined to comment on the CAAV’s recommendation on the number of aircraft, saying the company is still awaiting approvals.

Vingroup, the country’s largest private firm, established Vinpearl Air last month and set up the VinAviation High-tech Human Resources Training School and Vinpearl Air Flight Training Center.

The former is expected to train 400 pilots and technicians annually with CAAV (Vietnamese safety certification), FAA (U.S. certification) or EASA (EU certification) credentials.

The Vinpearl Air Flight Training Center will conduct proficiency checks and aircraft type rating renewals and upgrades or conversions for pilots and engineers. It opened admissions last week.

Vietnam currently has six commercial airlines licensed to fly: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air, Jetstar, VASCO, Bamboo Airways and the latest Vietstar Airlines. Thien Minh, Vietravel Airlines and Vinpearl Air are companies vying to be the seventh.

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