Japan Airlines finds way back into Vietnam’s fast-growing market with Vietjet deal: report

By Vi Vu   July 25, 2017 | 03:52 pm GMT+7
Japan Airlines finds way back into Vietnam’s fast-growing market with Vietjet deal: report
An airport worker drives past Japan Airlines aircraft at Narita airport in Japan. Photo by Reuters

Having split with Vietnam Airlines last year, the Japanese carrier is looking for another slice of the action.

Japan Airlines is set to team up with Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet to rebuild its presence in the fast-growing market, the Nikkei Asian Review said on Tuesday.

A timeline has not been revealed but the agreement will include code-sharing and will allow passengers to transfer reward miles between the two airlines, the report said.

Popular Vietnamese beach destinations Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc are likely to be on the sharing list, as are new routes Vietjet plans to open to Japan this year, it said.

Japan Airlines was allied with Vietnam Airlines but ended the partnership last fall after ANA Holdings, the parent company of its Japanese rival All Nippon Airways, acquired an 8.8 percent stake worth around $106 million in the Vietnamese flag carrier.

Nikkei said Vietjet hopes that teaming up with a similarly powerful partner will give it a stronger foothold in the international market.

Vietjet was founded in December 2011, and was Vietnam’s first private carrier.

The “bikini” airline, nicknamed after its unique yet controversial promotional campaign depicting a female crew in bikinis, now accounts for 41 percent of the domestic market, only one percent behind Vietnam Airlines.

It went public last February and aims to beceome the Emirates of Asia.

Vietnam’s aviation market grew 29 percent in 2016 with passenger numbers reaching 52.2 million, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam said. Low-cost carriers served 55 percent of passengers on domestic trips last year, it added.

Last April, Malaysian budget airline AirAsia also announced plans to team up with local businesses in Hanoi to develop a low-cost carrier to catch up with Vietnam's travel boom.

Foreign arrivals to Vietnam reached a record high of over 10 million last year, and visitors during the first six months of 2017 have surged 30 percent from a year ago to more than 6.2 million.

 
 
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