Vietnamese government approves country’s first privately owned airline

http://www.forbes.com/markets/feeds/afx/2007/11/30/afx4389933.html 

HANOI (Thomson Financial) – Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has authorized the creation of his country’s first privately owned airline, Vietjet, the company said Friday.

‘The prime minister signed the approval on Thursday and we are waiting for an official license from the transport ministry, which will be available in two weeks,’ Vietjet spokeswoman Pham Thi Yen said.

The airline will be based in Hanoi, with start-up capital of 600 billion dong, she said.

Vietjet is 100 percent owned by Vietnamese and is expected to operate on domestic routes from December, she said.

According to the Lao Dong newspaper, it will use 10 planes to begin with.

Vietnam has two state-owned or partly privatized carriers: Vietnam Airlines, which is expected to be partly privatized, and budget carrier Pacific Airlines, which includes Qantas Airways of Australia among its shareholders.

The prime minister recently allowed Vietnam Airlines to establish a partly private company by reorganising subsidiary Vietnam Air Service Co (VASCO). Industry sources have said Vietnam is planning to turn VASCO into a low-cost carrier.

(1 US = 16,216 dong)

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