Photo: Duc Anh
National flag carrier now seeking financial investors.
Following the recent completion of the share sale to its strategic investor ANA Holdings, Vietnam Airlines now continues to seek financial investors to increase its charter capital and reduce the State’s holding.
The national flag carrier aims to cut the State stake to 75 per cent from the current some 86.16 per cent and eventually 65 per cent under its restructuring plan, according to Vietnam Airlines’ spokesperson Mr. Le Hoang Dung.
ANA Holdings - Japan’s largest airline group - purchased the shares on July 1, securing 8.7 per cent and becoming the carrier’s strategic shareholder.
Vietnam Airlines is expected to hold an extraordinary meeting of shareholders before September 30 in order to elect a representative from ANA Holdings to its board, it said in a press release on July 4.
It will amend its Statute and adopt a plan to increase its charter capital by issuing additional shares to existing shareholders. “ANA joining as an official shareholder is of great significance for the long-term development of Vietnam Airlines,” the press release stated.
On May 28 the $109 million deal with ANA Holdings was finalized on the sidelines of a Japan visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. “Finding a partner for business and capital tie-ups is a key part of our efforts to improve and increase our competitiveness in international markets,” said Mr. Pham Ngoc Minh, Chairman of Vietnam Airlines.
“The cooperation with ANA, which has among the best customer services in the world, will help us be more confident in upgrading our fleet with the latest new generation aircraft, expand markets, improve service quality and be more efficient.”
Under the partnership Vietnam Airlines and ANA will launch code-share arrangements and a shared mileage program from the start of the 2016 winter timetable, which begins on October 30. The code-share will cover 30 major domestic routes within Japan and Vietnam and ten international routes between the two countries.
Frequent flyer program members will be able to accrue mileage on code-share routes as well as redeem miles on award flight reservations on each airline’s operated flights.
The two carriers also plan to combine a range of services, including passenger check-in, cargo loading, ground handling services, catering, aircraft maintenance and other services at airports in Vietnam and Japan.
Vietnam Airlines now has a fleet of 89 aircraft, including two new generation aircraft - the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787. Its network covers 29 international and 20 domestic destinations and it conducts 66 flights a week to Narita and Haneda Airports in Tokyo, Chubu Airport in Nagoya, Kansai Airport in Osaka, and Fukuoka Airport.