Military-run airline to join Vietnam’s aviation market

Military-run airline to join Vietnam’s aviation market

Vietnam’s aviation market is set to welcome a newcomer, a military-run carrier that will have a fleet of freighters and passenger aircraft, the Ministry of Transport has said.

Vietstar Airlines will be the first airline of its kind in Vietnam to offer both passenger and specialized air freight services, Giao Thong (Traffic) newspaper quoted Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat as saying.

The air cargo service will use freighters, or planes designed or converted for the carriage of cargo rather than passengers. Such aircraft usually do not incorporate amenities for passengers and generally feature one or more large doors for loading cargo.

The transport ministry has called on the government to grant a license for the multi-purpose airline to start operations, according to the ministry-run newspaper.

Vietstar Airlines is on track to meet the minimum charter capital requirements of VND800 billion (US$35.71 million), according to one company representative.

In the first five years of operation, the airline is anticipating a fleet of three Boeing 737s or Airbus 320s. It has also presented an agreement on aircraft leasing to the transport ministry to seek an operating license.

Vietstar Airlines is the business arm of the Air Defense-Air Force of Vietnam, a Ministry of Defense service that assumes responsibility of both the national air defense and air forces.

The company was established in 2010 and is licensed to operate as a general aviation carrier. Besides offering military air services, Vietstar Airlines also currently serve civil passengers in air charter and air taxi services.

Vietnam now has four licensed passenger airlines, namely Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar Pacific, Vietjet Air and Vietnam Air Services Co. (VASCO), and three general aviation carriers: Blue Sky Co., Hai Au Aviation and Green Planet Airways.

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