Vietnam’s budget LCC, VietJet, has grown into the second biggest entity in the skies of Southeast Asia with a bigger market cap than AirAsia.

On 8 November, the budget carrier began a new service between Hanoi and Kansai Airport. The new route linking Hanoi with Osaka is expected to further boost tourism and trade integration between the two countries and across the region — a big part of its growth strategy.

Jeremy Goldstrich, corporate executive vice president and COO of Kansai Airports, said: “We are honoured that Kansai Airport has been chosen as Vietjet’s first destination in Japan from Hanoi and soon to be from Ho Chi Minh City.

“The gateway to world famous tourist destinations”

Goldstrich continued: “Hanoi is an amazing city and is also the gateway to world-famous tourist destinations such as Ha Long Bay, Ninh Binh and Sapa. We hope more people from Japan and Vietnam, as well as international travellers, can enjoy travelling, touring and trading between the countries thanks to Vietjet’s joyful flights with affordable ticket fares.”

Vietjet - Japan route

Vietjet - Japan route

In addition, the carrier’s partnership with Japan Airlines will be integral to its strategic growth plans. Back in October, Vietjet entered a codeshare agreement with JAL for domestic routes, with long-haul flights between Japan and the US planned for the future.

The growth comes simultaneously with Vietnam’s GDP which grew rapidly. According to company reports, the figure grew 6.88% YoY for the quarter ended in September, while its citizens continue to travel outside the country.

Furthermore, in 2017, Vietjet flew past Vietnam Airlines, leading the way in domestic traffic. The recent success has attracted stock market investors — in effect, Vietjet has surpassed its Malaysian rival, AirAsia, making it the second most valuable airline in Southeast Asia, placing under Singapore Airlines with a market cap of USD 3.6 billion.

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