Despite the pandemic, the new startup airline Vietravel Airlines operated its first commercial flight on January 25, 2021.
Vietravel Airlines’ first commercial flight, number VU301, took off from Ho Chi Minh City International Airport (SGN) and landed in Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) on January 25, 2021. On January 19, 2021, the airline launched a campaign to give 50,000 free tickets in an effort to promote the new commercial flights.
The carrier plans to focus on leisure traffic. CEO Vu Duc Bien has stated that Vietravel is a hybrid carrier between a low-cost and a traditional full-service carrier.
Vietravel Airlines received its aircraft operator certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) in December 2020. It operates a fleet of three 220-seat Airbus A321 aircraft. In addition, the airline is waiting to receive a former Arkia Airbus A321LR. In 2022, Vietravel Airlines should expand its fleet to a total of 8 aircraft.
The company hired around 200 pilots and flight attendants. With a hub in Phu Bai International Airport, the airline plans to mainly fly to Southeast and Northeast Asia as well as the Middle East.
Vietnam is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. According to the International Trade Administration (ITA) in the United States Department of Commerce, for the period of 2016 to 2021, Vietnam is expected to have the highest average growth rate in Southeast Asia at 17.4%. With 22 airports, of which 11 are international and 11 domestic, the country has a capacity to welcome 96 million passengers per year.