The Minister of Planning and Investment has submitted to the Prime Minister the results of an appraisal of the investment policy of the Thien Minh Aviation JSC’s Canh Dieu Airlines (Kite Air) project and sought approval for the low-cost carrier’s establishment.

Its fleet in the first year of operations will be six ATR72 aircraft (or equivalent) and then 25 by its sixth year, including 15 Airbus320/321 (or equivalent). The project’s total capital is VND5.5 trillion ($237.1 million), of which equity is VND1 trillion ($43.1 million), or 18 per cent of the total, and borrowed capital VND4.5 trillion ($194.2 million), or 82 per cent, from Vietcombank’s Da Nang branch. It will be based at Chu Lai Airport in central Quang Nam province.

The Ministry of Planning and Investment proposed the Prime Minister assign the Quang Nam Provincial People’s Committee to direct Thien Minh Aviation in the investment execution stage, implement the project according to the views of the appraisal agency and relevant ministries, and closely supervise the mobilization of investment capital according to the project’s implementation schedule.

Thien Minh Aviation will only be permitted to conduct air transportation business when it satisfies the conditions prescribed in the Law on Vietnam’s Civil Aviation, Decree No. 92/2016/ND-CP dated July 1, 2016 from the government stipulating conditional business lines in the aviation sector, and Decree No. 89/2019/ND-CP dated November 15, 2019 amending and supplementing a number of articles in Decree No. 92.

According to Thien Minh Aviation, during the first phase of the project the carrier will provide economy class seating with basic services on six newly-purchased ATR72 aircraft. From the third year onwards, A321/A320 aircraft will be added via leasing or financial leasing.

The carrier hopes to be as successful as the two airlines in the region operating effectively with A320/321 and ATR72 aircraft - Cebu Pacific Airways in the Philippines and Bangkok Airways in Thailand.