VIETJET Air has embarked on an ambitious phase of growth as it increases the number of domestic and international flights, starts up new airlines and mulls various business models.
Speaking with TTG Asia e-Daily on the sidelines of a media event for the LCC’s new Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC)-Singapore service, managing director Luu Duc Khanh said: “Geography favours air travel in Vietnam as it allows a 13-hour train ride to be reduced to a flight time of just 1.5 hours. Vietnam’s population is youthful and living standard is growing strongly.”
The airline’s HCMC-Singapore flights commence May 23, while direct services from Hanoi, Danang, Hue and Phu Quoc are also being studied. On May 28, it will boost frequencies on Hanoi-Danang (three to four times daily) and Hanoi-Nha Trang (one to thrice daily).
Regionally, VietJet expects to launch Thailand-based start-up, Thai VietJet, in September and is in talks with an existing Myanmar carrier to establish an LCC in Myanmar.
Disclosing that Japan is looking to waive visa requirement for Vietnamese citizens later this year, Luu said flights to Japan could materialise by end-2014 or early 2015 if so.
He added that the airline has set its sights firmly on adding more charter destinations in North Asia with Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Osaka and Tokyo under consideration, while converting charter flights to Kunming into scheduled flights.
VietJet is also eyeing the possibility of running longhaul flights to the US, Europe and Australia to tap the large pool of overseas Vietnamese, and studying if its current LCC model, a hybrid model or full-service carrier would best serve this segment.
Meanwhile, it is working on a new “de facto business class service” product for flights and agreements with various GDSs.
At the Singapore Airshow in February, VietJet placed an order for 63 Airbus aircraft (TTG Asia e-Daily, February 12, 2014).