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The Vietnam News

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Vietnam to have two more airlines

HANOI - Vietnam is expected to license its second private airlines named Air Speed Up this month, and a third one called Phu Quoc Air in the next few months, according to local newspaper Youth on Tuesday.

Air Speed Up, which has already signed contracts on leasing three Boeing 737-800s to serve routes linking Hanoi, central Da Nang city and southern Ho Chi Minh City, plans to launch first flights in late October. It will offer fare rates which are lower than those of national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. With registered capital of 600 billion Vietnamese dong (37.5 million U.S. dollars), Phu Quoc Air will both buy and lease either Bombardier CRJ900 Next Gen or ATR 72 to serve routes linking some southern localities. Its first flights, one or two a week, are expected to take place in the second quarter of 2009.

Vietnam Airlines said it would have additional three Airbus 320s by the end of 2008, while the Vietnamese joint stock carrier Pacific Airlines will buy and lease five planes, raising the total number of Pacific Airlines' fleet to 10 by the year-end. Vietnam's first private airlines, Viet Jet Air, is leasing a Boeing 737-800 so that it can launch its first domestic flights in December. Vietnam currently houses 22 civil airports which serve nearly 40 international airlines. Now, the country has three operational domestic carriers, including Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and Vietnam Air Services Company, an affiliate of the national flag carrier.

Xinhua - March 18, 2008.