Vietnam’s economy isn’t very robust right now but its airline industry is on fire. The Aviation Department of Vietnam is expecting domestic passengers to rise 15 percent this year after going up 7 percent last year, Reuters reports. Part of the increase is due to tourist travel into the country being up 10 percent in the first nine months of the year compared to the same period last year.
The boost in tourism has translated into a solid pay-day for airplane manufacturers like Boeing, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., Bombardier Inc., and Embraer SA, as airlines based in the country could double or triple their fleets in the next few years in order to “serve a domestic market of 90 million people and tourist arrivals growing on average 20 percent annually.” According to Bloomberg, General Electric will be raking in $1 billion to supply engines to Vietnam Airlines’ 787 Dreamliners.
Economy airline VietJet, which hasn’t even reached two years old, currently has 10 planes and is planning to double by 2015, the same year it plans to go public on either the Hong Kong or Singapore stock exchange. Reuters notes that VietJet’s big plans “may have shaken state-run flag carrier Vietnam Airlines (VNA) into expediting its long-awaited initial public offering and fleet expansion.” VNA currently is the big fish in the local market and is planning to boost its fleet 28 percent to 101 planes by 2015 as well as its number of flights.
And it looks like Vietnam and other Asia-Pacific countries will continue to prosper, as passenger growth in the region is forecasted to surpass that of Europe and North America through 2016