Vietjet welcomes new jet as it aims for dominant position in Vietnam

By    June 17, 2016 | 02:56 am PT
Vietnamese low-cost carrier Vietjet has passed another milestone in its fleet expansion plan following the arrival of a new Airbus A320.

The new jet, which touched down at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport on Thursday, has expanded the budget carrier’s fleet to a total of 40, including 180-seat A320s and 220-seat A321s, said Vietjet in a press release.

The jet was delivered to Vietjet straight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, France.

This is the 18th delivery from an order for 100 A320 aircraft that the low-cost airliner placed in 2014.

“We are delighted to have more new aircraft joining our fleet to continue to expand our network in the Asia Pacific region and all over the world. Vietjet is proud to operate a new, modern and lively fleet and is always committed to new generation aircraft to bring our passengers comfortable and high-quality flights,” said Luu Duc Khanh, Vietjet’s managing director.


Ground staff check a VietJet A320 airplane before departure for Bangkok, at Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters/ Kham

The airline also recently struck a deal with Boeing for 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft worth $11.3 billion. This has become the largest single commercial airplane purchase ever in Vietnam’s aviation history.

Vietjet’s seat capacity was up 74 percent year on year, making it the second fastest growing airline in the region last year, according to Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).

The low-cost carrier is expanding its fleet at speed to meet the rising demand in both domestic and international market.

VietJet has captured a 40 percent share of the domestic market, and will likely surpass the national flagship carrier Vietnam Airlines in 2016 as the country’s largest domestic carrier, said CAPA.

VietJet carried 9.3 million passengers in 2015, an increase of 66 percent from 2014.

Revenue soared 205 percent last year to 10.9 trillion dong ($486 million), while net income rose to almost VND1 trillion, according to the company.

The airline expects revenue to double this year and passenger numbers to reach 15 million.

Vietjet is aiming to seek a valuation of at least $1 billion for its initial public offering. That would make VietJet a more valuable company than Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd., PT Garuda Indonesia and Thai Airways International.

Vietjet started operating in 2011 and has since grown to become one of Vietnam’s largest airlines.

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