Home' Asian Aviation : AAV July August 2011 Contents carrier employed 636 pilots, of whom 60 percent were
Vietnamese. By 2015, the airline hopes to increase the
number by 75 percent, meaning it needs to hire at least
100 new recruits a year up to then.
While the company s core activity is passenger
transportation, it also earns revenue from catering
and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
ser vices, via subsidiaries. e company s MRO unit
is Vietnam Airlines Engineering (VAECO), while
its catering units are Noibai Catering Ser vices and
Vietnam Air Caterer, which o er their services to
other carriers operating at Vietnam Airlines hubs.
e carrier has become increasingly involved in
the MRO sector, ever since it rst began maintaining
its own western aircra -- the ATR 72 -- in 1992.
VAECO was established in January 2009, taking over
maintenance of its parent s eet and o ering third-
The MRO ser vice provider s capabilities now
cover line maintenance of all types operated by
the carrier, including : A-checks for 767 and A330
aircra ; C-checks for ATR 72s, A320-family models
and 777s; and D-checks for Fokker 70s. Beyond
work done by VAECO, Vietnam Airlines also has
maintenance agreements with MRO providers such
as Ameco Beijing, China Airlines, Evergreen Aviation
Technologies, GAMECO and Hong Kong Aircra
e carrier s cargo division, Vietnam Airlines Cargo
sells hold space on the company s passenger eet, as well
as operating a number of dedicated freighters. Vietnam
Airlines also has a wholly-owned regional airlines
subsidiary in southern Vietnam, called Vietnam Air
Ser vice (VASCO), and owns 49 percent of Cambodia
Angkor Air, Cambodia s national carrier.
In June last year, Vietnam Airlines became a member
of the SkyTeam global alliance -- the only carrier in
South-East Asia to be part of that grouping.
"Joining SkyTeam marks an important step forward
in Vietnam Airlines future growth," the carrier says,
adding that the alliance gives passengers seamless
access to a global network covering more than 850
destinations in 169 countries.
SkyTeam Chairman Leo van Wijk said last year
that Vietnam Airlines membership of SkyTeam,
along with that of China Southern Airlines and
Korean Air, brings the group "closer to becoming the
leading alliance for Asia".
Vietnam Airlines has been working towards
expanding its network and has been particularly
interested for some time in launching ser vices to the
US -- where more than 1.2 million Vietnamese live.
e plans were announced in December 2003, but
postponed since then because Vietnam was not part
of the US Federal Aviation Administration s aviation
safety assessment programme. e carrier has most
recently said it plans to launch ser vices this year.
In the meantime, the carrier has now announced
plans to y from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to
London s Gatwick Airport starting on 9 December
-- the rst non-stop ser vices to be launched between
Vietnam and the UK. Flights will take place twice-
weekly from each of the Vietnamese cities, to be
operated by Boeing 777-200ER aircra , con gured
with 309 seats in business, premium economy and
e new air link to the UK aims to tap increasing
tourist demand, with about 90,000 leisure travellers
from the UK visiting Vietnam in 2010.
Other destinations the airline has said are in its sights
are : Mumbai, India ; Brisbane, Australia ; and Doha,
Qatar. e carrier launched ser vices from Ho Chi
Minh City to Beijing and Shanghai last year, as well
as Hanoi-Shanghai ser vices.
e carrier also has plans in place to increase its
revenue from US$1.86 billion in 2010 to US$7
billion by 2020, anticipating that it will carry 35
million passengers and 620,000 tonnes of cargo a year
by that time. As of now, Vietnam Airlines has about
40 percent of the international air travel market to
and from Vietnam. Domestically -- together with its
VASCO unit -- the carrier has an 80 percent share.
In January this year, Vietnam Airlines announced
that it is reviving plans for an initial public o ering
(IPO), to take place by the end of 2012. e previous
e ort was shelved as a result of the global economic
downturn of the past three years.
Vietnam Airlines has been working towards expanding its
network and has been particularly interested for some time in
launching services to the US.
The carrier operates a turboprop fleet of 15 ATR 72s.
Vietnam Airlines will begin
operating the first non-stop
services between Vietnam
and the UK in December.
16 AsianAviation | JULY-AUGUST 2011
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