Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup applies for licence to launch airline ops

Photo by Nils Nedel on Unsplash

Vingroup JSC has applied for a licence to launch an airline next year as Vietnam’s largest conglomerate plans to expand its footprint in one of the fastest growing aviation markets, local media reported on Thursday.

The group’s newly created unit, Vinpearl Air, has submitted the application with the Department of Planning and Investment of Hanoi, reported online newspaper VnExpress.

Vinpearl Air, with an investment of 4.7 trillion dong ($202.56 million), is keen to start flying from July next year, with an initial fleet of six. The unit plans to expand its fleet to 36 by 2025, the report said, citing application details.

A Vingroup spokesman declined to comment.

Vinpearl Air Chairwoman Nguyen Thanh Huong told another local newspaper that the firm is “finalising procedures to establish the airline”.

Vingroup, once a real estate and retail conglomerate, has grown to become Vietnam’s largest listed firm with a market capitalisation of more than $16 billion. The company recently launched smartphones and cars, and is also looking to foray into artificial intelligence.

If licensed, Vinpearl Air would use narrowbody planes such as the Airbus SE A320 or Boeing Co 737 and widebodies such as the A330, A350 or 787, the VnExpress report said.

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam told the Ministry of Transport in a note on Wednesday that Vinpearl Air is “qualified” to operate 30 aircraft by 2025, the report said.

Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Last month, Vietnam’s top tour operator Vietravel said it was also seeking funds for its project to launch an airline.

In January, property and leisure firm FLC Group’s Bamboo Airways launched its maiden commercial flight to become the fifth Vietnamese airline, heightening competition in the aviation sector of the Southeast Asian nation, which is emerging as a popular tourist destination.

The launch plans come at a time aviation competition in Vietnam is heating up and its aviation infrastructure is getting overloaded. Other local airlines operating are Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, Vietjet Aviation and Vietnam Air Services Co.

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.