Vietnam’s largest private enterprise, Vingroup, has inked a framework agreement with Canada’s CAE Group to establish two aviation training institutes to address workforce shortages as it moves towards launching a new Hanoi-based airline.
According to a company statement released late Tuesday, the VinAviation School, a collaborative effort between Vingroup and the Canadian group’s UK-based CAE Oxford Aviation Academy, aims to train 400 pilots and technicians annually under standards set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV), the U.S. FAA, and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). A second school, the Vinpearl Air Training Centre, will provide various aviation training and related courses for flight dispatchers, trainers, operators, and other personnel.
“The scarcity of pilots and flying techniques is happening not only in Vietnam but all over the world,” said Vingroup general director Nguyen Viet Quang. “Vingroup aims to contribute to solving the problem of domestic pilots' scarcity, and at the same time exporting pilots to the world, in order to participate in developing national resources, creating opportunities for young generations, and contribute foreign currency to the country.”
"This is very preliminary but we are very excited to continue to work in the Asia-Pac region," added Al Contrino, CAE’s director of business development and strategic cooperation. "We have a huge training network in Asia as a whole and continue to aspire to be the training partner of choice for the aviation training world.”
While Vingroup’s foray into aviation training signals a departure from the firm’s other various business activities, it also comes as no surprise. Rather, the Vietnamese conglomerate, founded by the nation’s richest man, Pham Nhat Vuong, has steadily expanded its portfolio over the years to include a wide range of investments from resorts and schools to an indigenous automotive brand, called VinFast, which builds electric cars, scooters, and buses.
Vingroup now hopes to shake up Vietnam’s market with plans to establish a new airline from its headquarters, based in Hanoi’s Long Bien District. Holding chartered capital of $56 million, Vinpearl Air Aviation is a joint venture between Vingroup’s Vin Asia Tourism Development, which holds a 45 percent stake, and two entrepreneurs—Hoang Quoc Thuy (30 percent) and Pham Khac Phuong (25 percent).
Once established, the new joint venture will encounter stiff competition from Vietnam Airlines, its wholly owned domestic airline Vietnam Air Services, and budget affiliate Jetstar Pacific, as well as from independent low-cost carrier Vietjet and newcomer Bamboo Airways. Meanwhile, three new startups—Thien Minh Aviation, Vietstar Airlines, and Vietravel Airlines—have reached various stages of applying for their respective Air Operator's Certificates.