Vietnam is among the rising tiger economies of Asia, even surpassing some of its neighboring ASEAN countries such as the Philippines in GDP growth. Like its ASEAN counterparts, the country has benefited from the emergence of a new middle class. Once the stage of major conflict in the mid-20th century, investors and visitors alike are coming to the country to see the opportunities and sights in areas such as Ho Chi Minh and Saigon.
In the realm of air travel, the Vietnamese government started the industry with a few Soviet and American-made aircraft as the country unified itself in 1976. During that time, the aviation infrastructure developed leading to the formation of national carrier Vietnam Airlines in 1989. It would remain government-run until the liberalization of the industry in the 1990s up to the Asian Financial Crisis.
The rise of low cost carriers in Asia would eventually hit the shores of Vietnam, where the likes of Air Asia operates in multiple points in the country. Two airlines emerge as the low cost carriers of Vietnam: Jetstar Pacific and VietJet.
Started as a charter airline owned by the government, Jetstar Pacific is a part of the Jetstar airline network based in Ho Chi Minh. Like its counterparts in the Jetstar network, it operates an all-Airbus A320 fleet where passengers can book flights via the official Jetstar website.
At present, Vietnam Airlines owns a majority stake in the airline (70%), and it operates to 18 domestic and international destinations. It’s international route network includes flights to China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan.
VietJet caught the attention of the aviation community with a marketing strategy of having bikini-clad flight attendants and getting fined for it in 2012. That hasn’t stopped the airline, which started in 2011 and is now the second largest carrier in the country behind Vietnam Airlines.
The airline operates a fleet of an all-Airbus A320 family aircraft, though it has placed a order in 2016 for Boeing 737 Max aircraft to be delivered in 2019. The current fleet of 40 aircraft operates flights to 53 destinations in Vietnam and a few international destinations from four hubs. Among the international destinations are Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Indonesia.