The corporations behind new private airline ventures

Jun 23, 2017 | 12:34 PM GMT+7

Private Vietnamese air carriers are the leading corporations in the field of tourism and resort real estate. Sovico Holdings has Vietjet, Thien Minh Group has Hai Au, and FLC is moving ahead with Bamboo Airways project.

The corporations behind new private airline ventures
Hai Au Aviation, the only seaplane airline in Vietnam. Photo:

In May 2017, the board of directors of FLC Group, released a decision on establishing Bamboo Airways. FLC’s president Trinh Van Quyet said the airline will have a fleet of seven aircraft and the first flights would be provided by early next year.

The private airline which holds the largest market share is Vietjet, which was established in 2007 with initial charter capital of VND600 billion. Its founding shareholders include HD Bank, Sovico, Bac Ha Investment JSC and individual investors.

Of these, Sovico Holdings, the conglomerate owned by Nguyen Thanh Hung and his wife Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, is a well-known name in the real estate market with projects capitalized at hundreds of millions of dollars in HCMC, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phu Quoc.

Sovico Holdings has poured money into Dragon Riverside City which includes a 5-star hotel, A-class offices, shopping mall and 1,060 high-end apartments, and is the investor in many other projects.

Hai Au Aviation, the only seaplane airline in Vietnam, is backed by Thien Minh Group. The group started in the field of travel with Buffalo Tours. In 2011, it took over a network of 4-5-star hotels and resorts with the Victoria brand located in famous tourism cities in Vietnam and Cambodia. 

FLC is a giant in the real estate sector with many projects developed throughout the country, including 5-star FLC Samson Beach & Golf Resort, FLC Luxury Resort Samson, FLC Vinh Thinh Resort and FLC Quy Nhon. BIM Group once invested in Air Mekong and Saigontourist in Jetstar.

The aviation sector doesn’t always bring high profits and requires huge initial investment capital, while airlines face high risks in exchange rate and air fuel price fluctuations. This is why some airlines had to leave the market.

However, big real estate developers still want to invest in the sector. Thien Minh has decided to join hands with Air Asia to set up a low-cost carrier in Vietnam.

The great potential of the logistics market could be a reason. However, owning an air carrier will help investors in their tourism and hospitality businesses. Quyet from FLC said the air carrier would serve FLC’s resorts in nine provinces and cities in Vietnam.