Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup announced on January 14 that it will not proceed with its plans to launch Vinpearl Air.

It has decided to withdraw from the aviation transport services sector and will focus instead on technology development and industrial production.

Vinpearl Air was to launch this summer, with plans to grow to a fleet of 30 aircraft by 2024. According to plans submitted to authorities, the carrier was to have total investment of VND4.7 trillion ($203.6 million), of which equity was VND1.3 trillion ($56.3 million), and be based at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi.

Mr. Nguyen Viet Quang, Deputy Chairman and CEO of Vingroup, said Vietnam’s aviation sector boasts immense potential since demand for air travel will likely grow further. “But the competition is getting fiercer as big players are setting stronger footholds in the market,” he added. “We understand our core competencies and strive to specialize in our technology and industry strengths, so we have halted our aviation arm to avoid any redundancy in human and financial resources.”

The Group, however, will continue to train pilots at its academy, VinAviation. Trainees will be given basic training for about 12 months at the Aviator College of Aeronautical Science & Technology (ACAST) in the US or at the Australian Airline Pilot Academy (AAPA), and deeper training for 14 months in Vietnam. Upon graduation, trainees will be granted international standard pilot certification (FAA and CASA) by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam. They will also have the opportunity to continue studying to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation Administration.

Vingroup applied for an initial operating license last year, to start this July, and also launched recruitment efforts for management positions as well as a number of promotional activities. But it had yet to order any aircraft.

In October, the Ministry of Transport approved Vinpearl Air’s applications for large-scale commercial business licenses.

In late December, Vingroup also announced that it had exited from its retail business after merging e-commerce site Adayroi with e-payment unit VinID. The move came barely two weeks after the merger of its supermarket chains and agribusiness with the Masan Group.