Vietnam national carrier has officially inked a deal to sell a 8.77 percent stake to Japan’s biggest airline All Nippon Airways, making it a strategic investor.
The contract worth more than US$109 million was signed Saturday in Tokyo during a visit by Vietnam’s newly-elected Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Complete payment will be made by July 1, news website VnExpress reported.
The new partnership, with some representative from the Japanese airline joining Vietnam Airlines’ board of directors, is set to help expand the carriers’ networks.
The two planned to launch a program from October 30 to jointly operate 30 domestic routes in Japan and Vietnam, and ten routes between the two countries. The cooperation is not only limited to passenger transport, but also in cargo transport, in-flight and ground services, including aircraft maintenance.
Vietnam Airlines, which now controls nearly half of the domestic passenger air market, is offering 66 flights a week to Japan.
Following the deal, its state ownership will be cut to 87.73 percent.
Vietnam Airlines has plans to to sell more chunks of shares to reduce the rate to 75 percent, and then 65 percent, according to local media reports.
The carrier has divested from 13 non-core businesses, including finance, insurance and real estate companies, in another restructuring effort.
It now has stakes in 19 companies, including budget airline Jetstar Pacific and Cambodia-based airline Angkor Air.
Vietnam Airlines is expecting revenue to grow 12.7 percent to VND77.8 trillion ($3.45 billion) this year, and an increase of 15.5 percent in the number of passengers, to 20.1 million.