Vietnam has established itself as a strong economic country during the past decade and the country’s airline business has grown along with this trend.
If a dedicated cargo carrier were to start in Vietnam, then one would automatically eye Vietnam Airlines.
This seems not to be the case.
Vietjet Air ready to launch their dedicated cargo unit
The Hanoi-based Vietjet Air which operates with more than 40 medium sized Airbus passenger aircraft to more than 30 regional destinations within South East Asia, has made it known that they have formed their own dedicated cargo unit and that they plan to start cargo services by the end of this year.
So far, the airlines has not made it clear whether they will commence freighter operations with an own aircraft, or with leased-in capacity.
Vietjet Air uses a mixed fleet of Airbus A320/321 aircraft and due to the continued growth of cargo and space demand, need to operate an own freighter in order not to lose out on cargo revenue.
The air cargo import and export tonnages have been increasing steadily during the past five years and are expected to double the present annual tonnage by 2020.
Regional freighter service or international?
It will surely be the first option, as an international cargo route would hardly pay off for the Vietnamese carrier.
The company’s CEO, Do Xuan Quang would like to start operating as of October this year in order to take advantage of the expected year-end cargo boom.
For regional operations, he’ll need a medium-range aircraft in the B767F or B757F range.
Probably a converted leased plane from a present operator in the region.
It has however not been ruled out that the carrier may decide to purchase an aircraft of their own.
This however, would entail higher operating and crew costs compared to a leased version.
Vietjet Air claim that they already have their first cargo contract, one which has been signed with a Korean client.
Operations through Hanoi are planned to be to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Manila and later to Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai.
All areas which are in easy reach of Vietnam.
It seems that the airline has also set its sights on cargo operations to Europe in the future.
These, however, depend on success and profit on the regional cargo routes.
John Mc Donagh