The latest addition to Vietnam’s aviation industry is expected to debut its first regular air routes in mid-January, connecting central Thua Thien – Hue Province with Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
A launch ceremony for the novel air carrier Vietravel Airlines was held on Saturday.
At the event, Vo Huy Cuong, deputy head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam, awarded the Aircraft Operator Certificate to Vietravel Airlines, which allows the airline to start commercial operations in the industry.
Speaking at the ceremony, Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietravel Airlines, said the company was founded out of the convictions to not only lead the travel sector but also constantly enhance service quality.
The carrier will help complete Vietravel's ecology involving tourism, aviation, and leisure services for the benefit of customers.
The first routes will be Hue – Hanoi and Hue – Ho Chi Minh City, before connecting other airfields in Nha Trang, Van Don, Da Nang, and Da Lat to Thua Thien – Hue, where the airline is headquartered, said Vu Duc Bien, CEO of Vietravel Airlines.
Vietravel, a leading tourism company, currently owns one A321CEO aircraft and is anticipated to receive two others in 2021 to complete the starting airplane roster.
The airline is currently employing some 200 pilots and flight attendants, and is looking to raise its fleet to 30 to prepare for its international operations in the future.
It is envisioning routes to other ASEAN countries, specifically Thailand, before reaching out to the Middle East and Northeast Asia, markets which Vietravel has already had an edge in.
The carrier has also devised plans to operate charter flights upon customer demand.
According to Bien, Vietravel positions itself as a hybrid of a low-cost carrier and traditional airline model, which means its ticket will be higher than no-frills Vietjet but not exceed Bamboo Airways' range.
The airline aims to make a profit from its second year onward, as its inception year still suffers from the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Vietravel executive said.
Debuting in the midst of a pandemic helps Vietravel acquire good aircraft and hire good pilots and engineers at a lower price.
On top of that, the firm benefits from low fuel costs, as well as a stimulus package from the government.
During the launch event, Vietravel signed partnership agreements with air operators, ground handling service providers, airport service providers, fuel suppliers, as well as tech support and insurance agencies.
Customers will be able to buy flight tickets at 17 set price points and enjoy support for booking errors as well as rescheduling.
Vietravel Airlines was founded with a charter capital of VND700 billion (US$30 million).
It is permitted to operate air passenger services with over 30 aircraft within 50 years.