Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2014 Contents AsianAviation | JUNE 2014 17
with Hanoi mainly focussed on destinations to the
north, especially north-east Asia, and Ho Chi Minh
concentrating more on south-east Asia.
As of mid-May, it served 10 local destinations
from Ho Chi Minh City and seven from Hanoi, with
scheduled flights to Bangkok from both cities. On
May 23 it launched its second scheduled international
service – a daily Ho Chi Minh City-Singapore flight.
It’s international network in north Asia, currently
restricted to charter flights, is due for expansion
later this year. In China, targets include Kunming,
Chengdu and Guangzhou.
Others destinations from Hanoi include Seoul
Incheon and Jeju in South Korea, as well as Hong
Kong. For Ho Chi Minh City, plans include Siem
Reap in Cambodia and Taipei in Taiwan.
A key market is Japan, with flights planned for
later this year or early next year to Tokyo and Osaka.
VietJet carries out passenger surveys of where it’s
passengers want it to fly and Japan is one of those
at the top of the list, along with Singapore. Malaysia
is also “on the radar.”
The Japanese Government is considering a visa
waiver for Vietnam, which Khanh expects to be
implemented around July-August this year. “This
means very high demand to Japan.”
However, he notes that the Japanese market is
not an easy one. “Especially for an LCC. You need
good preparation.” Japan is one of the markets where
obtaining slots is an issue – with others including
Hong Kong, China and Taipei. For instance, the
carrier would like to operate to Beijing and Shanghai,
but has struggled to get slots.
Khanh says that Japan is particularly an attractive
market for young people - which is something that
Vietnamese carriers have to take particular note of.
Some 70% of the country’s population is under the
age of 35.
“I’m the oldest person in the organisation,” says
53-year old Khanh. The airline’s youthful style is also
down to the demographic factor. It emphasises it’s
“friendly smile” and core values include being “fun
and friendly”, alongside being affordable, on time and
Vietnam’s tourist industry is in its infancy – in
2012, 6.8 million tourists visited Vietnam, compared
to 22.3 million in Thailand.
Some of the carrier’s aircraft livery is designed to
promote Vietnam as a tourist destination, including
the official tourist slogan “Vietnam – timeless charm”.
Khanh says, “We are trying to promote Vietnam
to the world – we get benefits from more people
coming to Vietnam.”
Also being worked on is web bookings. These
currently account for around 30% of total bookings,
and Khanh would like to see that move up to around
Another work in progress is connecting flights.
“Up to now, passengers have to book one sector
products,” notes Khanh. “If there’s demand we will
come up with something. One of our advantages is
that we are a very lean organisation. We can take
decisions very, very quickly. There is no hierarchy
in our organisation. If we see demand we will do it
Ancillary products make up more than 10% of
revenues, with the best selling items being food
and merchandise. An insurance product is being
developed and the carrier offers hotel and car hire
booking, although Khanh says the latter is “not very
Khanh says that the carrier made a profit last year
and in the first quarter of this year. “We beat the
market, shareholder and our own expectations,”
he says, noting that the business plan had losses
pencilled in for the first three years.
This should sit well for the IPO planned for next
year. Khanh notes that the market will ultimately
decide how much is raised, but that the aim is to raise
US$500 million. There are also plans for a “pre-IPO”
this year to test the market, with the aim of raising
US$100 million. The listing is likely to be in Hong
Kong, Singapore or Vietnam, and the proceeds will
go towards the carrier’s expansion plans.
Luu Duc Khanh was appointed VietJet
Air’s managing director in April 2011.
In nine months, he successfully obtained
an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and
started operations with one aircraft in
His background is varied - he is an
engineer by background and spent ten
years in the tourism industry, initially as a
tour guide and latterly as deputy CEO of
a car rental company. But since 1993, he
has been in the banking industry.
He was with HSBC until 2006, when
he joined ABBank as CEO, where he
helped the bank to grow more than
500% in terms of branch network, assets
From 2009 to 2011, Khanh worked as
a managing director of Sovico Holding
and executive vice chairman of HDbank,
which are the major shareholders of
Khanh is currently the chairman of VF1
Fund, the first Vietnamese public fund.
He attended universities in the Ukraine
and Australia, as well as Vietnam, and
lists golf, music and family as his hobbies.
He was born in Hanoi in 1960, but
has spent much of his career in Ho Chi
VIETJET AIR - OPERATIONS
NUMBER OF FLIGHTS
NUMBER OF PASSENGERS
Source: VietJet Air
“One of our advantages is that we are
a very lean organisation. We can take
decisions very, very quickly.”
LUU DUC KHANH
Managing Director, VietJet Air
Luu Duc Khanh, managing director, VietJet Air
29/05/2014 8:10:51 PM
Links Archive AAV May 2014 AAV July-Aug 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page