Vietnam Airlines' rebranded offshoot set for first flight this summer

By Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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 A VASCO airplane at Con Dao Airport in southern Vietnam. Photo: Mai Vong
A new joint-venture between national carrier Vietnam Airlines and partly-private lender Techcombank is expected to acquire a license in the second quarter to provide passenger and goods transport services.
In a recent report to the government, the Ministry of Transport said it is considering a business plan put forward by SkyViet Aviation JSC.
According to the plan, SkyViet, which was restructured from Vietnam Airlines' short-haul carrier Vietnam Air Services Company, or VASCO, will continue to operate a small fleet of ATR72 aircraft.
Founded in 1987, VASCO now has a share of around 8 percent in Vietnam's domestic passenger air market.
SkyViet will operate on short routes such as those linking Ho Chi Minh City and Con Dao Island off the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, and the southernmost province of Ca Mau.
Vietnam Airlines owns a stake of 51 percent in SkyViet, while two Techcombank's subsidiaries Techcom Capital and Techcomdeveloper own the rest.
With a registered capital of around VND300 billion (US$13.26 million), SkyViet is expected to generate revenue of VND2 trillion over the next three years.
Besides SkyViet, Vietnam Airlines is also running low-cost carrier Jetstar Pacific, which controlled 14.9 percent of the market last year, in collaboration with Australian-owned Qantas.
Early this week the transport ministry sought the government's permission to license military-run aviation company Vietstar to provide passenger and goods transport services.
Vietnam's air market is forecast to see a rise of 19 percent to 45 million passengers this year, with the domestic sector accounting for more than 58 percent.

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