Vietnam becoming vital link in supply chain

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With a booming manufacturing market, Vietnam has rapidly become a crucial link in the Southeast Asian air cargo supply chain, with 25 percent of its exports being shipped via air cargo. This week, businesses in the developing country sent a message that they are ready to compete on the world stage by launching a new cargo airline and moving forward on a new cargo handling facility.

Ho Chi Minh City-based Vietjet Aviation has announced the start of its new affiliate, Vietjet Air Cargo, which it says will operate 28 routes by the end of this year and increase that total to 39 in 2015.

At this stage, Do Xuan Quang (in photo, on left), managing director of Vietjet Air Cargo, said the new carrier does not own any planes but is negotiating with other interline carriers to offer charter cargo services domestically and internationally. “There is a huge potential for air cargo in Vietnam,” he said. “Currently this service is mainly offered by international airlines.”

Currently, the parent company, three-year-old VietJet, operates sixteen A320-200 aircraft, with firm orders with Airbus for another 63 planes in the A320 Family. The carrier said it plans to operate about thirty A320s by the end of 2015.

Meanwhile, electronics manufacturer Samsung is reportedly in talks with the Vietnamese government about building and operating its own cargo-handling facility at Hanoi’s Noi Bai International Airport. According to Vietnam’s Thanhniennews.com, Samsung is considering building a second smartphone factory near Hanoi and would like to streamline operations with its own terminal.

Samsung has sent a written request to Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Administration earlier this fall to approve the $3 billion facility. In the letter, the company said that 35 percent of inbound and outbound goods shipped via Noi Bai in 2013 were Samsung products. That total is expected to rise to 50 percent in the near future, the company added.

Thanhniennews.com also cited figures from Airports Council International, saying that Hanoi’s air cargo traffic expanded by more than 23 percent to 348,000 tonnes in 2013, while Ho Chi Minh City’s volume rose by 10 percent to 375,000 tonnes that same year.

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