HCMC - Air Mekong and Eximbank have clinched a strategic partnership deal that allows the bank to hold a 11% stake in the two-year-old private airline.
The deal was signed by Air Mekong’s chairman Doan Quoc Viet and Eximbank’s vice chairman and general director Truong Van Phuoc in Hanoi on Wednesday. A representative of Air Mekong said the bank’s investment was part of the carrier’s development plan to increase its chartered capital to VND600 billion (nearly US$29 million).
Eximbank will assist Air Mekong with funds for leasing planes to bring its aircraft fleet from the current four to 10 in the coming years as well as for infrastructure and service projects at the airports that the airline flies to. The two sides will cooperate on programs regarding air-ticket payment, promotion and brand building.
The Ministry of Transport granted Air Mekong a license in 2008 after the Prime Minister’s approval for the establishment of this private airline in Vietnam with an initial chartered capital of VND200 billion (nearly US$9.6 million). This is the lowest level required for a local airline to operate domestic flights.
Air Mekong said it had transported almost 1.2 million passengers on more than 17,000 flights using four Bombardier CRJ 900 planes since October 2010.
Truong Thanh Vu, an executive of Air Mekong, told the Daily on the phone on Wednesday this carrier performed 32 domestic daily flights connecting HCMC, Hanoi, Central Highlands and central regions among others. This summer, the airline offers many more flights to tourist sites including Dalat, Buon Ma Thuot, Phu Quoc and Con Dao.
The Air Mekong chairman Viet told the signing ceremony that the airline’s priorities were to expand domestic services and operate international flights in the years to come.
Air Mekong is one of the five operational local airlines in Vietnam. The others are Vietnam Airlines and its subsidiary Vietnam Air Service Co. (Vasco), Jetstar Pacific and VietJetAir.
* Silk Air of Singapore has commenced flights to Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi after years of servicing Danang in central Vietnam.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam said that Silk Air used the Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft for the flights to Hanoi on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
By Binh Nguyen - The Saigon Times Daily
Source Saigon Times