Vietnam's largest travel agency Vietravel is gearing up to start its new airline venture this year after receiving permission to operate commercial flights.

According to a report on the VN Express, Vietravel Airlines was granted its airline operator certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). With the certification, Vietravel plans to commence its flights flights in mid-January.

Along with the certification, the airline has also received the first of three Airbus A321ceo with 220 seats for the first planned flights that will operate out of its hub at Phu Bai. The first destinations will be to the cities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Other domestic destinations such as Nha Trang, Da Nang, and Da Lat will be added later.

Beyond Vietnam, Vietravel plans to expand its network to destinations in the region. It will also operate charter flights based on customer demand.

Vietravel Airlines will be the sixth Vietnam-based airline, entering a competitive market served by Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet, Jetstar Pacific, Vietnam Air Services Company, and Bamboo Airways.

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