The parent carrier achieved a pre-tax profit of VND875 billion ($38.4 million) during the first quarter, which was up 30% year-on-year and 13% higher than its target. The group, which also includes LCC Jetstar Pacific and regional carrier VASCO, recorded a pre-tax profit of VND1.5 trillion. The group total was 6.2% higher than its plan for the period.

Revenue increased 13% year-on-year to VND18.6 trillion for the period. Group revenue was VND25.5 trillion.

Growth on both domestic and international routes surpassed the carrier’s forecasts during the first quarter. Passenger numbers were up 5%, and total flights increased by 4.3%. Demand was particularly strong on routes to Japan and South Korea, the airline said.

Vietnam Airlines continues to develop its information technology platforms. Passengers undertaking self check-in online or through an airport kiosk has risen to 50% of the total at the Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang airports.

Separately, the carrier signed an MOU to form a joint venture (JV) with ST Aerospace, covering component MRO. It also signed a 14-year component maintenance-by-the-hour agreement for the carrier’s Airbus A321 fleet, including its A321neo orders yet to arrive.

For the JV, ST will set up an inventory base in Hanoi. The partnership will be supported by Vietnam Airlines’ MRO subsidiary, Vietnam Airlines Engineering Co. (VAECO). It will start with support for technology areas including pneumatics, hydraulics and electrical components. The collaboration could be broadened to include aerostructure and airframe MRO, the airline said. Having the JV within Vietnam is expected to help shorten maintenance and repair times compared to sending the work offshore.

By Adrian Schofield - Air Transport World - April 26, 2018