Low-cost carrier VietJet Air ready for take-off in Thailand

By Bangkok Post   June 21, 2016 | 07:20 pm GMT+7

After prolonged delays over the past several years, the Thai offshoot of fledgling Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet Air is finally ready to begin operations.

Thai VietJet Air (TVJA) is set to make a formal announcement for the launch within the next two months with flights scheduled to start soon after, making TVJA the fifth major Thai-registered budget airline, said Nguyen Thi Thuy Binh, vice president of VietJet Aviation Joint Stock Company.

She confirmed that TVJA was just waiting for the "right moment".

TVJA will start scheduled flights by initially assuming the two routes currently controlled by its parent VietJet Air.

The flights will be from Bangkok to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, with one to two flights per day and three to four flights per day, respectively.

In association with VietJet Air, TVJA intends to expand its regular flights from Bangkok to Vietnam’s central city of Da Nang, the Central Highland city of Da Lat and the northern port city of Hai Phong later this year.

The Bangkok – Da Nang route will start with four flights per week before ramping up to a daily service, said Binh.

The budget airline will operate regular flights to Phuket, Chiang Mai and Udon Thani to tap into Thailand’s domestic market potential, said the senior executive.

VietJet Air is also working with tourism authorities in Thailand and Vietnam to boost the number of tourists traveling between the two countries by at least 10 percent over the next year, Binh added.

low-cost-carrier-vietjet-air-ready-for-take-off-in-thailand

VietJet Air, which has captured a 40 percent share of the Vietnamese market and will likely surpass the national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines in 2016, is tapping into the market potential of Thailand. Photo from VietJet Air.

"Three years of preparations have been quite good, allowing us to ensure that all of the crucial factors, including the airline's operating license, safety protocols and issues related to operational readiness, are set for a smooth take off," said Binh in an interview with the Bangkok Post.

The budget carrier has complied with the regulations required by the Thai civil aviation authorities that place a cap of 49 percent on foreign ownership in Thai-registered airlines.

The low cost airliner has been transporting passengers on chartered flights between Thailand and Vietnam for tour operators for the past year on two Airbus 180-seat A320s.

VietJet Air, which has captured a 40 percent share of the Vietnamese market, will likely surpass the national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines in 2016. 

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