Two private airlines likely to launch this year

TN News

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Private carriers VietJet Air and Mekong Air may be able to launch their services in the final quarter of this year, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam.

VietJet Air was expected to run its first flight in August but it has delayed the plan until the end of this year, saying it needs more time to obtain an Air Operator Certificate.

The aviation administration said VietJet Air is finalizing the paperwork for the certificate, making it likely that the carrier will be on schedule for launching its service.

Vo Huy Cuong, head of the Civil Aviation Administration under Vietnam's Air Transport Department, on Monday said the carrier filed for the certificate in 2009 but has not received it yet.

However, it didn't have anything to do with the brand name issue because the certificate is to do with technical and operational requirements only, he said.

VietJet Air, the first private airline to be licensed in Vietnam, sold a 30 percent stake to Malaysia's low cost carrier AirAsia and planned to name its new joint venture VietJet AirAsia. However, authorities warned the airline against using the brand of its foreign partner.

The Civil Aviation Administration also said Mekong Air, another private airline, has also applied for an Air Operator Certificate and aims to launch with its first flight in Q4 as planned.

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