Vietnam's leading tour company Vietravel has received its license for airline operations, paving the way for its venture to launch flights.
According to a report by VnExpress, Vietravel chairman and founder Nguyen Quoc Ky said during a recent aviation business forum that the new airline venture – Vietravel Airlines – would start flying on December 18. Vietravel originally planned for the launch of flights next year (2021).
Ky further stated that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company would focus on the domestic market. It will mainly carry people booking its tours but also some commercial passengers. The airline has received approval for both domestic and international flights.
"We will fly domestically first, targeting the 100 million population market. In fact, it is not a small market. Our July domestic travel revenue is already much higher than before the pandemic,” Ky was quoted saying in the report.
Previously reported plans for the airline include international services to the target markets of Japan, South Korea, ASEAN, Australia, and China.
The new Vietnam-based airline will be based at Phu Bai International Airport in Thua Thien Hue province. According to Planespotters.net, the airline is set to receive its first aircrat – an Airbus A321neo.
Vietravel is financing the new airline through raising USD $30 million in non-convertible bonds.
Already organizing charter flights, the new airline will join a highly competitive aviation market in Vietnam with six players led by Vietnam Airlines, VietJet, Pacific Airlines (former Jetstar Pacific), Bamboo Airways.